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Bob Epperson

Bob Epperson

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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.

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Hi Bob:

 

A warm welcome. Glad to see you were able to post. In fact when I woke up this morning, I noticed you had posted several items. :armata_PDT_37:

 

I know we'll have lots to talk about.

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Hey Bob,

Glad to have you with us. My grandfather was the Bn CO of one of the 540th's battalions (the one Marion's father wasn't in) which brought me to the site a few years ago. I's a great place for research and fellowship of other WWII (and some other wars) minded history buffs. I'm on pretty regularly (thankfully the Marine network has not blocked Marion's site! You go to the WBG site and you get "You have attempted to access a site which has been blocked in accordance with Marine Corps and DoN policy governing the appropriate use of government information systems. Reason: The Websense category "Message Boards and Forums" is filtered. http://forums.wildbillguarnere.com/index.php?act=idx." I guess Marion's site flys below the radar or perhaps it's because it doesn't have "forum" in the URL. ;) )

 

later developing 21 different treatment systems for some 8,000,000 lbs of potentially toxic waste generated by each Space Shuttle launch.

 

I'm curious about this. In what form is the waste? I would figure most of it in the form of the trail of exhaust from the thing. Is that what you are cleaning up? "Fallout"?

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Hey Bob,

Glad to have you with us. My grandfather was the Bn CO of one of the 540th's battalions (the one Marion's father wasn't in) which brought me to the site a few years ago. I's a great place for research and fellowship of other WWII (and some other wars) minded history buffs. I'm on pretty regularly (thankfully the Marine network has not blocked Marion's site! You go to the WBG site and you get "You have attempted to access a site which has been blocked in accordance with Marine Corps and DoN policy governing the appropriate use of government information systems. Reason: The Websense category "Message Boards and Forums" is filtered. http://forums.wildbillguarnere.com/index.php?act=idx." I guess Marion's site flys below the radar or perhaps it's because it doesn't have "forum" in the URL. ;) )

 

 

 

I'm curious about this. In what form is the waste? I would figure most of it in the form of the trail of exhaust from the thing. Is that what you are cleaning up? "Fallout"?

 

 

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.

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Didn't plan on getting a shuttle education this morning as I checked the forum. Just shows the variety of knowledge we all bring to the table. In my 15 years as a Marine (4 reserve, the rest active duty) I have been a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Specialist, an artillery officer, and now a communications officer. If you want to know how to set up and EPLRS radio at your artillery FDC in a chemically contaminated environment, I can give you advice there.

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Wow, that's fascinating work Bob. Yes, Captain, we sure get an education on this site. You never know who you'll run into, or what you might learn in the course of a day.

 

I'm a SPACE nut! Have been since I was a little girl, when I wrote to NASA while in grade school, and got color 8 X 10's of the original astronauts. They held a place of esteem on my bedroom wall for many years. In fact, I still have the photos. I would like to get them framed and place them on the wall in my office. How cool is that!!

 

Marion

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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.

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I'm a SPACE nut! Have been since I was a little girl, when I wrote to NASA while in grade school, and got color 8 X 10's of the original astronauts. They held a place of esteem on my bedroom wall for many years. In fact, I still have the photos. I would like to get them framed and place them on the wall in my office. How cool is that!!

 

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.

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Dang, what a thing to lose, or as in your case, get stolen!

 

I will always treasure my 8 X10's. It was so cool of NASA to do that for a little girl. My parents and I were pretty impressed.

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Hello Bob, welcome to the forum, I`m looking forward to reading more of your posts, looks like you`ll have some great stories & topics.

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