The History of InfoAge Science & History Museums

Space Age - Monmouth Message April 7, 1960 Signal Pilots Fly Photos To NASA

Published in The Monmouth Message on April 7, 1960 page 1

Washington – Two U. S. Army Signal Corps pilots flew the first pictures taken by TIROS, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration television weather satellite, from Fort Monmouth, the eastern U. S. tracking station to NASA’s Washington headquarters.

The special air courier system provided by the Army Signal Corps was arranged to ensure the rapid delivery of the first photos received from TIROS.  A facsimile system is also in operation to transmit photos to NASA.

Captain Lloyd J. Petty and Captain Robert C. Jones, U. S. Army Signal Corps senior aviators, flew an L-23 from Monmouth County Airport to Bolling AFB, Washington. Both served in combat together in  Korea and both live in Alexandria, Va. Both also are World War II veterans.

Use Helicopter

The photos were flown from the tracking station to the Monmouth airport in an H-19 helicopter, by Capt. William M. Templeton, also a U. S. Army Signal Corps pilot.

Captain Petty, the pilot, who lives at 1029 North Pegram Street, Alexandria, with his wife and three children, has been flying for seven years. A graduate of Southwest Texas State College, he has also attended enlisted photographers school, Officers Candidate School at Fort Henning, Signal Corps schools at Fort Monmouth and he has 2000 hours in fixed-wing and helicopters. Capt. Petty is chief of the Ground-Based System Section, Aviation Branch, Signal Corps.

He and Capt. Jones served in the First Cavalry Division and the Ninth Corps in Korea and Japan. Capt. Jones, who lives at 108 Piper Lane, Alexandria, with his wife and two children, has seven and a half years of flying time, with 3000 hours of qualification in fixed-wing and helicopters. He is chief of the operations branch of the U. S. Army Flight Information Office of the Chief Signal Officer. He holds a master’s degree from West Virginia University.

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