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Bob Epperson

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    Kerman, CA
  1. Bob Epperson

    Bob Epperson

    I once had an American flag flown on the 2nd Space Shuttle together with a photo of its launch taken by a friend who worked for NASA. Unfortunately, the movers thought it was cool and permanently borrowed it when they moved us home after separating from the Air Force. It would have gone nicely on what my son the Air Force pilot calls an "I love me wall" of memorabilia from my career. But alas all I have is memories, good ones though.
  2. Bob Epperson

    Bob Epperson

    Well, I always wanted to be a teacher and or a historian, but never quite got there. I still have the tendencies to go off on those sorts of tangents. Being my grandfather's grandson means if three words will answer the question, I can't do it in less than a dozen or so. My grandfather was one of those old school preachers who felt, he cheated the congregation if his sermons lasted less than two hours.
  3. Bob Epperson

    Bob Epperson

    Thanks for the welcome. As to the space shuttle program, there are some 20 processes or operations that the shuttle goes through in preparation for or refurbishing after launch. Paint and asbestos removal and reapplication -- asbestos lines the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) -- the two cylinders on the sides of the launch vehicle; insulation application to the main hydrogen and oxgen fuel tanks (the big central cylinder of the launch vehicle); fueling and cleaning operations for the Orbital Manuvering System (the small rockets scattered aroun the shuttle allowing it to steer and position itself in space). The largest amount comes from 3 millions pounds of water dumped into the exhaust on lauch to suppress the noise. The SRBs burn an alumininum perchlorate fuel, which generates hydrogen chloride as an exhaust. The main engine burns hydrogen and oxygen generating water as an exhaust. When the two exhaust streams mix, you get hydrochloric acid. The sound suppression water in addition to reducing noise washes the hydrochloric acid out of the air around the launch area an dilutes it. My work was in preparation for launching the shuttle from the west coast, which never came about. NASA designed the shuttle for its major mission, low earth orbiting satellites, which didn't fit well with the military mission of high earth orbits. It would be like using Arnold Schwarzenagger's Hummer in the place of an Army Hummvee -- they have similar shapes and similar names, but they don't do the same job. As a result most of my work went for naught, with the exception that NASA did adopt a scrubber we designed to clean the dry nitrogen they used to remove hydrazine fuels from the small rockets for refurbishing. The monomethyl hydrazine they use is a great rocket fuel, but a really bad neurotoxin.
  4. Cpt Thomas Quincy Stanford, Co G, 39th Alabama Infantry, was the great-grandfather of 2nd Lt Stanford Lee Arnold, Co E, 345th Infantry, 87th Division. Quincy, as he was called, was one of three brothers who enlisted in Co G in May 1862. He was elected captain of the company while his younger brother Will was promoted to Assistant Regimental Surgeon since he was a recent (1859) graduate of the medical school at the University of Nashville (now Vanderbilt Univ). The older brother, Monroe, enlisted as a private and was shipped home ill a month later. Will soon left the regiment to tend to his older brother, after some disagreement with the top brass in the medical field. It is possible the disagreement was the failure to promote him to Surgeon, perhaps because he lacked the full 4 years of practice required in spite of the fact that he was one of very few doctors at the time with a university medical degree. Most doctors were trained as apprentices to practicing physicians. Or it could have been a disagreement over medical practices. Letters between Will and Quincy indicate that several of the men held many of the surgeons in low esteem after Will left. The company reached Shiloh, Mississippi, a month or so after the Battle of Shiloh. While nearly half of the company became ill in the first few months, Quincy was diligent in his training of the able bodied soldiers. Their first and Quincy's last action came at the Battle of Murfreesboro or Stones River at the end of December seven months after they enlisted. That action is described in the attached article. Also attached is a photo of Capt Stanford wearing a sash marking him as Officer of the Day. Cpt_TQ_at_Murfreesboro_5_16_05_c.pdf TQUniform.pdf
  5. The attached article describes the actions of 2nd Lt Stanford L Arnold and his squad, Jim Hennessey, J J Moore, Ryan O'Shields, annd Sgt Jim Howe at Olzheim, Germany on 8 Feb 1945. Stanford_L_Arnold_Olzheim_Germany_Feb_1945.pdf
  6. Bob Epperson

    Bob Epperson

    Hi, Bob Epperson, here. I am a history fan. I was introduced to this site by Jim Hennessey who was helping me find information on a distant relative serving in the 87th Div who was KIA in Germany. I am interested in WWII through the stories of my father, a Marine with 4th Div in the Marianas in the South Pacific; a couple of uncles one an Army Air Corps (8th Air Force) pilot and later Air Force bomber pilot (B-52s), and the other a Navy pilot who missed most of WWII but helped develop computer systems for the Atlantic Fleet with one of the early Univac computers in the 1950s; and my father-in-law and two of his brothers who were with the 7th Inf Div at the Aleutians, Leyte, and Kwajalein. My real history interest in the "older stuff" like the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. I have "chased" a number of relatives in the Civil War including 11 first cousins in southern infantry regiments and one cavalry battalion. I have been able to track down my 4th great-grandfather's activities in the Revolutionary War. If anyone is interested in information on specific soldiers from these wars, I am willing to do some look up work. I live in central California, farm grapes for raisins -- Sun Maid raisins that is. I am retired from the California Dept of Transportation (Caltrans) and work for the US Bureau of Reclamation overseeing recreation at seven reservoirs in the middle third of California. I served with the Air Force conducting research on napalm bombs and later developing 21 different treatment systems for some 8,000,000 lbs of potentially toxic waste generated by each Space Shuttle launch. I left the Air Force in 1983 to take over my father-in-law's farming operation when he developed Alzheimer's.