The History of InfoAge Science & History Museums

Oral Histories - Oral History of Bernard V. Riccardi

Interviewee: Bernard V. Riccardi

Interviewer: Michael Ruane
Date: 1998?
Place: Camp Evans – 9039
Media: NTSC Video
Summary: Mr. Irv Bauman

BERNARD V. Ricciardi Avionics Laboratory

Bernie’s career spanned 35 yrs as an Electrical Engineer with the CS/TA Laboratory in the H Building. His starting salary was $4490, involved with Aviation Communications. He ended his career at Satellite Communications Agency as a GS-14. He began in Evans when tubes became replaced by transistors. He built radios with available parts from “Kelly’s Warehouse”, a unit run by an employee who salvaged old WWII equipment and reclaimed useful parts.

Projects Bernie Worked on included:
1. Homing System in Army Aircraft – employed in Vietnam
2. Hi Frequency Antennas for Aircraft, using the riggers to lift heavy equipment to the high tower.
3. A testing rocket fired drone aircraft projects with the help of a mechanical engineer and shop personnel.
4. Tested radio beacon over Munsen Road Course. Knobs fell off several of the radio items and with the redesign, passed successfully.
5. Observed the effect on HF radios by an explosion in the test chambers.
6. Worked on 75 megahertz marker beacons for aircraft to help locate their position.
7. Worked with helical HF antenna in a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft (L-20) at Allaire A/P.

Bernie then referred to photos showing antenna mountings in aircraft, and those installed in H-19 Helicopter. He flew frequently in H-19 for test work. Fort Rucker, ALA has an H-19 with his name on it. He was also involved in HF testing of communications items and participated in low-level flights in Vietnam with help from Bill Kovax, a technician who was there to solve communications equipment. operational problems. Bernie assisted with long-range communications between Vietnam and the US. He compared his test work with that of Marconi.

Bernie enjoyed his association with the Army Signal Corps at Camp Evans.

Page created August 2, 2002

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