1959 Photo Gallery. Last updated 13 November, 2015
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Jan 1  -- NAF has 62 aircraft consisting of 1 AD-4B, 1 HRS-3, 1 F8U-1, 1 YF8U-1, 1 F9F-8B, 2 FJ-4, 2 F3H-2N, 2 F3D-2T2, 1 YF3D-1, 1 F4D-1, 4 F9F-6D, 1 A4D-1, 1 AD-5, 1 A3D-1, 1 A3D-2, 1 P2V-3B, 1 P2V-3, 1 R4D-6, 1 R4D-5, 2 T-28BD, 1 T-28B, 2 JD-1D, 3 F9F-6K  & 29 F6F-5K drones. VX-5 has 17 aircraft consisting of 1 F9F-8, 5 FJ-4B, 5 A4D-2,  1 AD-6, 2 AD-5N, 1 A3D-2, 1 TV-2 & 1 SNB-5.
30 Jan -- The RAT program is dropped by the Navy.
13 Apr -- The P2V crew escaped serious injury when the stbd engine caught fire on take-off & separated from the aircraft which made a forced landing on Charlie Range collapsing the port main gear.
17 Apr -- Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, CNO, visits NOTS.
08 May -- Jayne Mansfield dedicated the EM Club patio and appeared at the CPO Club.
18 May -- GMU-61 is decommissioned and its personnel and mission are integrated into NAF
Development completed of the variable-thrust rocket engine.
The Skyline facility, for testing large solid-propellant motors, completed at China Lake Propulsion Laboratory.
Development completed of the Terasca high-altitude research probe.
June -- Cdr. Herk Camp had engine trouble on takeoff in YF-104A 55-2956 and ran off the end of the runway resulting in strike damage to the Starfighter.
26 Jun -- GMU-61 is decommissioned.
Jul 1  -- NAF has 64 aircraft consisting of 1 HRS-3, 1 F8U-1, 1 YF8U-1, 1 F9F-8, 2 FJ-4, 1 F3H-2N, 3 F3D-2T2, 1 F3D-2, 1 F4D-1, 4 F9F-6D, 1 A4D-1, 1 AD-5, 1 A3D-1, 1 A3D-2, 1 P2V-4, 1 P2V-3B, 1 R4D-6, 1 R4D-5, 2 T-28BD, 1 T-28B, 2 JD-1D, 21 F9F-6K  & 15 F6F-5K drones. VX-5 has 14 aircraft consisting of 5 FJ-4B, 4 A4D-2, 1 AD-5N, 1 A3D-2, 2 TV-2 & 1 SNB-5.
Aug 03 -- The first flight test of the antisubmarine missile Subroc was successfully completed by a launch from a shore installation at NOTS China Lake.
18 Sep -- NOTS developed TERASCA climbs 110 miles into space at Pt. Mugu.
02 Oct -- ZUNI FFAR goes into mass production.
October -- RAdm. William D. Irwin, Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force & members of his staff inspected VX-5 & observed operational flights. Full scale training shapes & practice bombs were delivered on the C-3 Nuclear Weapons Delivery Training Range from A4D-2, FJ-4B & A3D-2 aircraft.
November -- The Multiple Carriage Bomb Rack (MCBR) developed by VX-5 was tested.
13 Nov -- Polaris static-test facility, Skytop, completed at China Lake Propulsion Laboratory.
04 Dec -- RAPEC (rocket-assisted personnel-ejection catapult) released to the fleet.
11 Dec -- NOTS displays its weapons at the Naval Air Weapons Meet in Yuma, AZ.
   
1Q
Hangar three construction Hangar three construction
Hangar three construction

Hangar three construction, Armitage Field, China Lake, late 1958/early 1959. Hangar 2 at left and VX-5 Vampires FJ Fury. VX-5 Skyhawk and NAF Jig Dog on the flightline. Photographer unknown.

Air refueling artwork Air refueling artwork
Air refueling artwork

VX-5 Vampires air refueling artwork, circa 1959.

In-flight refueling In-flight refueling
In-flight refueling

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, in-flight refueling VX-5 A3D-2 Skywarrior BuNo 142654, XE-15, about 1959. Photo G. Verver collection.

In-flight refueling In-flight refueling
In-flight refueling

VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142121, XE-23, refueling VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, circa 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo from Dave Woolsey.

In-flight refueling In-flight refueling
In-flight refueling

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142121, XE-23, in-flight refueling VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, circa 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo, Tom Scott collection.

In-flight refueling In-flight refueling
In-flight refueling

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury's BuNo 139551, XE-2, & BuNo 139555, XE-4, (pilot Lcdr. John E. Smerdon), in-flight refueling with Special Weapons, ca. 1959. Photo from David Smerdon.

VX-5 FJ-4 Fury BuNo 139554 VX-5 FJ-4 Fury BuNo 139554
VX-5 FJ-4 Fury BuNo 139554

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4 Fury BuNo 139554, XE-03, with a special weapon on #2, pilot LCdr. John E. Smerdon, Armitage Field, China Lake, ca. 1958-1960. Photo from David Smerdon.

Michelson Lab. Michelson Lab.
Michelson Lab.

Michelson Lab., China Lake, 1959. Photo from Jerry Willey.

NAF DT-28B Trojan NAF DT-28B Trojan
NAF DT-28B Trojan

NAF DT-28B Trojan drone controller BuNo 138296, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

VX-5 inspection VX-5 inspection
VX-5 inspection

VX-5 Vampires, at left: L-R front row: A4D-2 Skyhawks BuNo's 142417, XE-10; BuNo 142095, XE-9; BuNo 142792, XE-8; BuNo 142122, XE-6; and BuNo 142121, XE-7. L-R back row AD-5N Skyraiders BuNo 132598, XE-21, and BuNo 132498, XE-22. Center A3D-2 Skywarrior BuNo 142654, XE-15. At right: L-R front row: FJ-4B Furys BuNo's 139555, XE-4; BuNo 139549, XE-1; BuNo 143493, XE-5; & BuNo 139554, XE-3. L-R back row AD-7 Skyraider BuNo 142011, XE-14; F9F-8 Cougar BuNo 141228, XE-11; and FJ-4B Fury BuNo's 143494, XE-2. Photo from Ron Erbland

VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk
VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 145041, in-flight with a Mk-7 nuclear shape (T-63) on the centerline, circa 1959. Photographer unknown.

VX-5 FJ-4B Fury VX-5 FJ-4B Fury
VX-5 FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 139555, XE-4, ready for launch from the USS Bennington, CVA-20, 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo from NMNA.

VX-5 FJ-4B Fury VX-5 FJ-4B Fury
VX-5 FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 139555, XE-4, aboard the USS Bennington, CVA-20, 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo from the NMNA.

NAF F6F-5K Hellcat NAF F6F-5K Hellcat
NAF F6F-5K Hellcat

NAF F6F-5K Hellcat drone BuNo 79863, Armitage Field, China Lake, 31 August 1959. F9F-6 Cougar at right is BuNo 130943 & F6F Hellcat at left is 78158. Official U.S. Navy photo from Frank Turchi.

NAF AD-4B Skyraider NAF AD-4B Skyraider
NAF AD-4B Skyraider

NAF AD-4B Skyraider BuNo132325, in-flight Mk-44 torpedo release, China Lake, circa 1959. Photo from Wayne Mutza collection.

T-131 flares T-131 flares
T-131 flares

Wing tip installation of two clusters of eight T-131 flares on an unknown F6F-5K Hellcat drone, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

continuous rod warhead continuous rod warhead
continuous rod warhead

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead, China Lake, 15 January 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

NAF AD-5 Skyraider NAF AD-5 Skyraider
NAF AD-5 Skyraider

NAF AD-5 Skyraider BuNo 132656, Phoenix, AZ, 15 March 1959. Photo from Wayne Mutza collection.

NAF HRS-3 NAF HRS-3
NAF HRS-3

George AFB pilot Capt. John R. Niemela (2nd from left) stands in front of NAF HRS-3 BuNo 130215 which picked him up 20 miles north of Lake Isabella after he bailed out of his F-104C at 15,000 feet. Others pictured are (l-r) LCdr. Walt Henning, Lt. Gilbert Madison and LCdr. C. J. Maple, 27 March 1959. Rocketeer photo.

2Q
Model 712A infrared flares Model 712A infrared flares
Model 712A infrared flares

NAF China Lake F9F-6K Cougar drone BuNo 128216 with wingtip installation of two NOTS Model 712A infrared flares, Armitage Field, NAF China Lake, circa 1959.

Twin Terrier Twin Terrier
Twin Terrier

USMC GMTU-25 personnel approach missile launcher on Twin Terrier missile carriers, China Lake, April 1959. Naval Aviation News photo.

GMTU Missilemen GMTU Missilemen
GMTU Missilemen

China Lake Marine Missilemen assigned to the GMTU are charged with testing all missiles which interest the Corp., April 1959. Here they launch and monitor the flight of twin mounted Terrier missiles. Naval Aviation News photo.

T-28BD Trojan T-28BD Trojan
T-28BD Trojan

NAF T-28BD Trojan BuNo 138296, location unknown, April 1959. Photographer unknown.

F-104A Starfighter 55-2956 F-104A Starfighter 55-2956
F-104A Starfighter 55-2956

NAF China Lake F-104A s/n 55-2956 on the ramp prior to its arrival at China Lake, circa April 1959. Might be the Lockheed plant in Palmdale. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F-104A Starfighter F-104A Starfighter
F-104A Starfighter

LCdr. Herk Camp (inset) piloted the 1st Lockheed F-104A Starfighter (s/n 55-2956) to NOTS on April 9 from the Lockheed plant in Palmdale. NOTS pilots qualified in the F-104 are : Cdr. G. H. Duncan, LCdr. Camp, Lt. R. G. Pipkin and Capt. R. E. Howard. China Lake, 09 April 1959. Rocketeer photo.

P2V-2 Neptune P2V-2 Neptune
P2V-2 Neptune

Shortly after take-off the #1 engine of P2V-2 Neptune BuNo 122984 caught fire and then separated from the wing, 13 April 1959. LCdr. Gordon Bailey made a forced landing on Charlie Range which collapsed the stbd main gear. Other crew members were: Lt. R. K. Watson, co-pilot; John Klinger, AD3; plane captain: W. A. Hunter, AD3; R. M. Barnes, AN; E. A. Baron. AO1; R. H. Williams, AQ1; and Leroy Corlett of Heavy Attack Branch "A," Aviation Ordnance Department. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F3D-2 Skyknight F3D-2 Skyknight
F3D-2 Skyknight

NAF F3D-2 Skyknight BuNo 124616, CNO & entourage after scoring a perfect hit on a target rocket with the Sidewinder, Armitage Field, China Lake, 14 Apr 1959. L-r: Marine aide, Capt. William W. Hollister, Cdr. Selden May, Rear Adm Paul D. Stroop (Chief of BuOrd), Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Dr. Wm. B. McLean and unidentified U.S. Navy Capt. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Capt. W. W. Hollister Capt. W. W. Hollister
Capt. W. W. Hollister

Capt. W. W. Hollister points out heat seeking head of the deadly Sidewinder to (L to r): Admiral Manuel Zermeno, Secretary of the Marine of Mexico; VAdm. Luis M. Bravo; RAdm. C. C. Hartman, Commandant 11ND; Capt. H. R. Hahn; RAdm. Antonio Aznar and Capt. G. J. Anderson, Armitage Field, China Lake, 17 April 1959. Rocketeer photo.

A-4B Skyhawk refueling A-4B Skyhawk refueling
A-4B Skyhawk refueling

VX-5 Vampires A-4B Skyhawk BuNo 142121, XE-7, refueling VX-5 A-4B BuNo 142792, XE-8, with a T-63 on the centerline, 27 April 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

AD-5N Skyraider AD-5N Skyraider
AD-5N Skyraider

NAF AD-5N Skyraider BuNo 132656, ASROC depth charge, Armitage Field, China Lake, 30 Apr 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Honorary membership Honorary membership
Honorary membership

Cdr. S. N. May (left) Officer-in-Charge of GMU-61 and J. H. Thomas, GFC (right) leading Chief, present patches symbolizing honorary membership in the unit to Joe Wojecki (l) and Dick Hape in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Sidewinder flight test program. China Lake, 08 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

YA4D-1 Skyhawk YA4D-1 Skyhawk
YA4D-1 Skyhawk

NAF YA4D-1 Skyhawk BuNo 137818, Mk-11 (20mm) gun pod, Armitage Field, China Lake, 08 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F9F-7 Cougar F9F-7 Cougar
F9F-7 Cougar

NAF F9F-7 Cougar BuNo 130867, Armitage Field, China Lake, 12 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F9F-7 Cougar F9F-7 Cougar
F9F-7 Cougar

NAF F9F-7 Cougar BuNo 130905, Armitage Field, China Lake, 12 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

KDA-4 Firebee KDA-4 Firebee
KDA-4 Firebee

NAF JD-1D Jig Dog, KDA-4 Firebee s/n KD-4480, F9F-6K Cougar BuNo 128233, hangar 2 in the background, Armitage Field, China Lake, 12 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F9F-6 Cougar F9F-6 Cougar
F9F-6 Cougar

NAF F9F-6 Cougar BuNo 128233, Armitage Field, China Lake, 12 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Little League baseballers Little League baseballers
Little League base ballers

China Lake Little League base ballers pose in front of F3D-2 Skyknight BuNo 127074 as they greet Dale Robertson, Jim Hardy of the Wells Fargo TV show, upon his arrival at NAF, 16 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Willy Victor Willy Victor
Willy Victor

Unknown Willy Victor parked on the ramp west of VX-5 hangar 1 on AFD, Armitage Field, China Lake, 16May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

F3D-2T2 Skyknight F3D-2T2 Skyknight
F3D-2T2 Skyknight

NAF F3D-2T2 Skyknight BuNo 125870 and BuNo 127083 in the background, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

F9F-6D Cougar F9F-6D Cougar
F9F-6D Cougar

NAF F9F-6D Cougar drone director BuNo 127319, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

F3H-2N Demon F3H-2N Demon
F3H-2N Demon

NAF F3H-2N Demon BuNo 133565, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

A3D-1 Skywarrior A3D-1 Skywarrior
A3D-1 Skywarrior

NAF A3D-1 Skywarrior BuNo 135414, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

XR4D-8 Skytrain XR4D-8 Skytrain
XR4D-8 Skytrain

NAF XR4D-8 Skytrain BuNo 138820, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Global Air Image photo.

A4D-2 Skyhawk A4D-2 Skyhawk
A4D-2 Skyhawk

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

A3D-2 Skywarrior A3D-2 Skywarrior
A3D-2 Skywarrior

NAF A3D-2 Skywarrior BuNo 142404, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa AFD 1959. Photo The Will Blunt/Global Air Images collection.

B-52A Stratofortress B-52A Stratofortress
B-52A Stratofortress

USAF B-52A Stratofortress s/n 52-002 on the 14-32 taxiway, Armitage Field, China Lake, 16 May 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

High Altitude Project High Altitude Project
High Altitude Project

High Altitude Project members L-r are: Fred Spoffoth, co-pilot; Bud Greer, ECM operator; Gene Beymer, Boeing coordinator, Howard Sumnicht, NOTS-Boeing liaison; Raim Regelson, Project Engineer, and Bill Arriola, project film coordinator. Below is B-52A Stratofortress s/n 52-002 piloted by Boeing pilot Paul Maier. China Lake, 16 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

A4D-1 Skyhawk A4D-1 Skyhawk
A4D-1 Skyhawk

NAF A4D-1 Skyhawk BuNo 137829 and unknown F9F Cougar, Armitage Field, China Lake, AFD, 16 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

FJ-4B Fury FJ-4B Fury
FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 139555, XE-4, and unknown VX-5 FJ-4B, Armitage Field, China Lake, AFD, 16 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

GMU-61 decommissioning GMU-61 decommissioning
GMU-61 decommissioning

The end of GMU-61 -- Officers and men present for the final cake cutting by the unit watch Cdr. Seldon N. May, Officer in charge, slice the 1st piece, 18 May 1959. Photo from Mike Kott. Shown first row (L.-r.) are: AO2 J.W. Jackson; GF3 C.H. Forbes; GF1 R.F. Dausch; Cdr. May; Lt. R.G. Pipkin; GFC J.H. Thomas; ATC M.A. Robertson; PNSN T.C. Lowinski; ATC B.L. Brown and GF1 E.J. Paklos. Second row (L. to r.) are: AQ2 J.R. Hardy; GF2 R.W. Morris;AO2 H.R. Kriegh; GF2 C.W. Austin; GF3 F.A. Wilhelmi; GF1 J. Porter; GFAN D.L. Merrill and GFAN C.J. Enlow. Third row (L. to r.) are: GF2 D.R. Leonard; AO3 J.R. Griffin; AQC D.E. Wright; GF1 W.E. Brock; GF3 A.L. Wescoat; GFAN M.S. Kott and GF3 G.F. Kelley. Unit enlisted not present are: GFC J.P. Foriter; GF3 S.M. Bass; GF2 B.K. Burnett; GF1 C.B. Hocking; AO2 W.P. Kellam; AQ3 H.M. Vogt; GF3 W.A. West and AO3 C.C. Davolt AO3.

Wheels-up landing Wheels-up landing
Wheels-up landing

Fire-inhibiting foam spread over the runway by two NAF MB-1 Crash Rescue Fire trucks looks like snow sticking to VX-5 A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142792, XE-8, after a wheels-up landing by LCdr. N. Jackson Gambrill, Armitage Field, China Lake, 29 May 1959. Rocketeer photo.

AD-7 Skyraider AD-7 Skyraider
AD-7 Skyraider

VX-5 Vampires AD-7 Skyraider BuNo 142011, XE-14, aboard unknown carrier, May 1959. Tailhook Association courtesy of A. Romano.

Michelson Lab Michelson Lab
Michelson Lab

Michelson Research Lab, China Lake, 01 Jun 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo from R. Summers.

YF-104A Starfighter YF-104A Starfighter
YF-104A Starfighter

NAF YF-104A Starfighter BuNo 55-2956, pilots & engineers, Hot Line, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa June1959. Pilots L-r: Herk Camp, Bob Howard & Bob Pipkin. Civilians L-r: Dick Hape, unknown & unknown. Photo courtesy of the China Lake Museum Foundation.

YF-104A Starfighter YF-104A Starfighter
YF-104A Starfighter

NAF YF-104A Starfighter BuNo 55-2956, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa June 1959. Photo from G. Verver collection.

YF-104A Starfighter YF-104A Starfighter
YF-104A Starfighter

NAF YF-104A Starfighter BuNo 55-2956 after it ran off the runway and sustained strike damage, Gun Butts, Armitage Field, China Lake, June 1959. Photo by Larry Ruybal.

Cdr. Gordon Duncan Cdr. Gordon Duncan
Cdr. Gordon Duncan

GMU-61 Operations Officer and Sidewinder pilot Cdr. Gordon Duncan (l) shown with Capt. W. W. Hollister prior to a firing flight leaves today for new duty as Officer-in-Charge of VU-5, DET A, NAS Cubi Point. China Lake, 15 June 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Capt. W. W. Hollister Capt. W. W. Hollister
Capt. W. W. Hollister

Capt. W. W. Hollister accepts on behalf of the Station a plaque presented by the men and officers of GMU-61 from Cdr. Selden N. May. China Lake, 26 June 1959. Rocketeer photo.

3Q
Hot WX is upon us Hot WX is upon us
Hot WX is upon us

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 145041, XE-5, hot WX is upon us, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa 1959. U.S. Navy photo from Lift & Drag via R. Puszcz.

RAdm. William D. Irvin RAdm. William D. Irvin
RAdm. William D. Irvin

RAdm. William D. Irvin is greeted by VX-5 Vampires CO Capt. R.A. Beveridge on his arrival at NAF China Lake, 01 July 1959. Rocketeer photo.

F9F-8 Cougar F9F-8 Cougar
F9F-8 Cougar

NAF F9F-8 Cougar BuNo 141050, firing ZUNI 5" FFAR's, China Lake, 02 Jul 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Gary Anderson Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson's desire to look over jet aircraft came about last Friday when Chief Aviation Pilot Harvey Stith, among others, showed him around the airfield, China Lake, 17 July 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Don Formentini Don Formentini
Don Formentini

NAF Don Formentini on the tug next to F4D-1 Skyray BuNo 130745, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa 1959. Photo from Don Formentini.

F4D-1 Skyray F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray

NAF F4D-1 Skyray BuNo 130745, flare boom, Armitage Field, China Lake, 20 Jul 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Change of Command Change of Command
Change of Command

Capt. Grell inspects the NAF enlisted men before the Change of Command ceremony. Inspection party (CW) are: CMAA William E. Shanahan; Capt. Theodore A. Grell; Capt. Guy J. Anderson and LCdr. John H. McIlmoil, Target Aircraft Officer, China Lake, 24 July 1959. Rocketeer photo.

C-3 Range Tower C-3 Range Tower
C-3 Range Tower

RAdm. William D. Irvin observes VX-5 Vampires tactics demonstration from C-3 Range Tower. L-r in foreground are: Duane W. Mack, Senior Range Engineer for C-Range; RAdm. Irvin; Capt T. A. Grell, NAF CO; and Capt. R. A. Beveridge, VX-5 CO, China Lake, 31 July 1959. Rocketeer photo.

F-104A Starfighter F-104A Starfighter
F-104A Starfighter

NAF F-104A Starfighter BuNo 56-0757, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa August 1959. Photo from G. Verver collection.

Fuze target intercept Fuze target intercept
Fuze target intercept

F2H Banshee simulated fuze target intercept test, aircraft velocity 675 ft./sec, altitude 15 feet above simulated target, 01 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Witness plates Witness plates
Witness plates

Witness plates, Sidewinder 1C continuous rod warhead test, Area R, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Warhead test Warhead test
Warhead test

USAF F-86F Thunderjet s/n 51-9327, Sidewinder 1C continuous rod warhead test, Area R, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Warhead test Warhead test
Warhead test

USAF F-86F Thunderjet s/n 51-9327, Sidewinder 1C continuous rod warhead test, Area R, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Warhead test Warhead test
Warhead test

USAF F-86F Thunderjet s/n 51-9327, Sidewinder 1C continuous rod warhead test, Area R, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Pre test Witness plates Pre test Witness plates
Pre test Witness plates

Pretest witness plates, Sidewinder 1C continuous rod warhead test, Area R, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Pre test Witness plates Pre test Witness plates
Pre test Witness plates

5.0 inch Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead exploded view drawing, China Lake, 15 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Terrier missile Terrier missile
Terrier missile

Advance Terrier missile launches during test firing at China Lake, September 1959. Naval Aviation News photo.

Skyhawk Escape System Skyhawk Escape System
Skyhawk Escape System

A-4 Skyhawk Escape System Test, SNORT, China Lake 07 September 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

TERASCA TERASCA
TERASCA

Engineers and technicians from various departments at NOTS who were directly involved in the development and firing of the NOTS developed research missile TERASCA are shown with the missile at the U.S. Naval Missile Range, Pt. Mugu, CA. Pictured In front row (l-r) are: Jim Hurtt, Eldon Shepherd, John Turner, Project Engineer Dennis Haluza, and Charles Mullen. Shown in back row (l-r) are: Jesse Lamar, Harold Nuffer, William Woodworth, Jack Crawford, James Mills, Kenneth Thorsted, and Delbert Grantham. The project took 4 1/2 months, from conception to completion, 18 September 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Helicopter tour Helicopter tour
Helicopter tour

Representative Phil Weaver (R Nebr.) waits for Cdr. Don Bruce to adjust his helmet prior to take-off on a helicopter tour of Station facilities as LCdr. Jay Vermilya assists, China Lake, 23 September 1959. Rocketeer photo.

MB-1 Crash and Rescue MB-1 Crash and Rescue
MB-1 Crash and Rescue

Driver P.K. Kratz and Fire Capt. J.W. Howell along with AN J.A. Martin and AN M.G. Reeder manning the turrets and AN M.J. Sole and AN J.H. Blair from the NAF China Lake Fire Dept. debuted the MB-1 Crash and Rescue truck at the Desert Empire Fair Parade, 25 September 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Hot Line Hot Line
Hot Line

NAF A4D-1 Skyhawk BuNo 137818, F3D-2T2 Skyknight BuNo 127083, F3H-2N Demon BuNo 133565, F9F-6D Cougar drone controllers BuNo 128246 and 130930, R4D-8 Skytrain BuNo 138820 and F6F-5K Hellcat drone BuNo 94263, Hot Line, Armitage Field, China Lake, October/December 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

4Q
fuze hole drilling fuze hole drilling
fuze hole drilling

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 charge, fuze hole drilling, China Lake, 10 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

PBXN-3 pressing PBXN-3 pressing
PBXN-3 pressing

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 pressing, China Lake, 10 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

filter drying filter drying
filter drying

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 preparation - HMX vacuum filter drying, China Lake, 10 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

assembly parts assembly parts
assembly parts

Sidewinder continuous rod warhead with PBXN-3 charge and assembly parts, China Lake, 10 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F8U-1 Crusader F8U-1 Crusader
F8U-1 Crusader

NAF F8U-1 Crusader BuNo 144435 and plane captain Don Formentini & Larry Patton 3rd & 4th from left, Armitage Field, China Lake, November 1959. Photo from Don Formentini.

F8U-1 Crusader F8U-1 Crusader
F8U-1 Crusader

NAF F8U-1 Crusader BuNo 144435 and plane captain Don Formentini in the intake at far right, Hot Line, Armitage Field, China Lake, November 1959. Photo from Don Formentini.

F8U-1 Crusader F8U-1 Crusader
F8U-1 Crusader

NAF F8U-1 Crusader BuNo 144435 and plane captain Don Formentini next to F-104A Starfighter 56-0740, Hot Line, Armitage Field, China Lake, November 1959. Photo from Don Formentini.

Drone crew Drone crew
Drone crew

Drone crew and NAF F6F-5K Hellcat drone BuNo 94263, Armitage Field, China Lake, circa October 1959. Photo from Frank Turchi.

Quicktrans C-54B Quicktrans C-54B
Quicktrans C-54B

Quicktrans Douglas C-54B Skymaster (DC-4) N90423, Red Label Area, Armitage Field, China Lake, 04 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Safety shoes Safety shoes
Safety shoes

AMH-3 Arthur Lee Duke and PR1 Robert W. Boles demonstrate how safety shoes saved Boles from a serious foot injury when the F9F Cougar canopy they were removing struck Boles foot, Armitage Field, China Lake, 23 October 1959. Rocketeer photo.

PBXN-3 charge PBXN-3 charge
PBXN-3 charge

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 charge, physical inspection China Lake, 05 November 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Drying oven Drying oven
Drying oven

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 molding powder preparation, oven drying, China Lake, 05 November 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

PBXN-3 preperation PBXN-3 preperation
PBXN-3 preparation

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 molding powder preparation, China Lake, 10 October 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Pre heat oven Pre heat oven
Pre heat oven

Sidewinder 1-C continuous rod warhead PBXN-3 molding powder, oven preheat for pressing, China Lake, 05 November 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F-104A Starfighter F-104A Starfighter
F-104A Starfighter

NAF F-104A Starfighter BuNo 56-0740, Armitage Field, China Lake, 05 November 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

Joel Premselaar Joel Premselaar
Joel Premselaar

With his retirement effective November 1, LCdr. Joel Premselaar (l), and Capt. T. A. Grell, NAF CO, thumb through the logbooks in which are logged Joel's nearly 4,000 hours of flight time, including some 1,300 hours in jet aircraft. China Lake, 06 November 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Polaris Test Stand Polaris Test Stand
Polaris Test Stand

Schematic drawing of the Polaris Test Stand at Skytop. The rocket, fired horizontally, pushes instrumentation in nose against a solid concrete barrier and instrumentation cables feed data into building at left and then into the data reduction and control center, China Lake, 13 November 1959. Rocketeer photo.

FJ-4B Fury FJ-4B Fury
FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 143493, XE-5, air refueling tank, Armitage Field, China Lake, 19 Nov 1959. Photo by Bob Lawson.

FJ-4B Fury FJ-4B Fury
FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 143494, XE-2, NOTS Bands, China Lake, 19 Nov 1959. Three 500 lb. bombs on #2 & #4 and three 250 lb. bombs on #1 and #5. Official U.S. Navy photo.

A4D-2 Skyhawk A4D-2 Skyhawk
A4D-2 Skyhawk

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, MCBR and Mk-82 bombs, Armitage Field, China Lake, 19 Nov 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo from Lt-Gen. Fitch.

MCBR patent drawings MCBR patent drawings
MCBR patent drawings

VX-5 Vampires 1959 developed Multiple Carriage Bomb Rack (MCBR, later MBER and then MER) patent drawings submitted in February 1964. Photo from Lt-Gen Fitch.

MCBR patent drawings MCBR patent drawings
MCBR patent drawings

VX-5 Vampires 1959 developed Multiple Carriage Bomb Rack (MCBR, later MBER and then MER) patent drawings submitted in February 1964. Photo from Lt-Gen Fitch.

NAF Cougars NAF Cougars
NAF Cougars

NAF F9F-6 Cougar BuNo 128246 and F9F-7 Cougars BuNo 130805 & BuNo 130930, Armitage Field, China Lake, 19 Nov 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

NAF hangar 3 NAF hangar 3
NAF hangar 3

NAF A4D-1 Skyhawk BuNo 137818 in front of hangar 3, H-19 in the hangar looks to be BuNo 130258, Armitage Field, China Lake, 24 November 1959. Official U.S. Navy photo.

A4D-2 Skyhawk A4D-2 Skyhawk
A4D-2 Skyhawk

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, MCBR and Mk-81 bombs, Yuma, 03 December 1959. Photo from Ray Powell collection.

A4D-2 Skyhawk A4D-2 Skyhawk
A4D-2 Skyhawk

VX-5 Vampires A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142122, XE-6, MCBR and Mk-81 bombs, Yuma, 03 December 1959. Photo William Swisher courtesy of Angelo Romano.

FJ-4B Fury FJ-4B Fury
FJ-4B Fury

VX-5 Vampires FJ-4B Fury BuNo 139549, XE-1, MCAS Yuma, 03 December 1959. William Swisher courtesy of A. Romano.

RAPEC seat RAPEC seat
RAPEC seat

A schematic drawing of the Douglas Aircraft Company El Segundo plant which developed the seat system of the Navy's new rocket seat ejection system forms the background for NOTS key personnel of Propulsion Development Department who designed and developed RAPEC. (L-r) are: James Metcalf, Don Perrin and Dick Zabelka; Back: Bob Sampson, Norman Rumpp and Cecil Glass. China Lake, 04 December 1959. Rocketeer photo.

Hangar 3 Hangar 3
Hangar 3

Dwarfing the former main hangar at the Naval Air Facility is the newly completed $4 million hangar 3 complex in foreground. Two bays and the connecting center unit will house shops, labs and offices of NAF and AOD, China Lake, 04 December 1959. Rocketeer photo.

P-38L Lightning P-38L Lightning
P-38L Lightning

Capt. Grell's official goldfish transport. It's bowl was fitted with a half-turn three point locking base, and it fastened to the nose. During those extremely hot days, the duty officer was asked to get the fish up into cooler air. The bowl was located on the nose so the pilot could see if the water level was getting too low. Mark Hurd Aerial Survey P-38L Lightning s/n 44-27183, N501MH, Armitage Field, China Lake, before 01 Jan 1960. Official U.S. Navy photo.

C-119G Flying Boxcar C-119G Flying Boxcar
C-119G Flying Boxcar

USAF C-119G Flying Boxcar s/n 51-2716, VIP parking area, China Lake, before 01 January 1960. Official U.S. Navy photo.

EC-135K Flying Command Post EC-135K Flying Command Post
EC-135K Flying Command Post

USAF EC-135K Flying Command Post s/n 55-3118 (note the ground crew is wearing the VIP coveralls), China Lake, before 01 January 1960. Official U.S. Navy photo.

F6F-5K Hellcat F6F-5K Hellcat
F6F-5K Hellcat

NAF F6F-5K Hellcat drone BuNo 79863, Armitage Field, China Lake, before 01 Jan 1960. Official U.S. Navy photo.