People at work – page 1

Here a collection of photos of people at work.

Most of these photos were taken by Hamish Lindsay.
They are in no particular order, and may also appear in the relevant sections of the website.

See also People at Work: Page 2 and People at Work: Page 3.

John McLeod in the Telemetry section in an undated photo.

Scan: John McLeod.


At left, Brian Bell sits at the Servo console.

Is that Peter Cohn standing at right?

Undated Polaroid by Hamish Lindsay. 2023 scan: Colin Mackellar.


Ed von Renouard (standing at right) chats with Jerry Bissicks.

Someone is sitting at the Servo console at left.

In the background, the chart recorder on the System Monitor has been using quite a lot of paper!

Undated Polaroid by Hamish Lindsay. 2023 scan: Colin Mackellar.


Don Loughhead and Frank Hain in the computer section at Honeysuckle.

Undated Polaroid by Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Ken Lee

Operations Supervisor Ken Lee is farewelled by Station Director Don Gray and his opposite number, John Saxon, in July 1970.

Ken has apparently been presented with a pen, card and engraved mug.

Photo almost certainly by Hamish Lindsay. Preserved by John Saxon. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Bill Perrin

Bill Perrin works on a problem in the Telemetry section.

Photo from Tom Reid’s collection. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Bill Waugh

Bill Waugh makes some adjustments to Honeysuckle’s RCA Scan Converter, 11 July 1969.

Photo from Tom Reid’s collection. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Ron Hicks

Ron Hicks at one of the Univac 642B computers.

Early photo, likely by the Australian News and Information Service.

Scan by Glen Nagle.

Wally Smallwood

Wally Smallwood in the Test Equipment Section. Probably late 1966. Good detail visible in the larhge format negative.

(Colour photo taken at the same time in the How it Works section.)

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2020 negative scan: Colin Mackellar.

Computer section

Bryan Sullivan (seated) and Gordon Bendall (at the left hand Univac 642B computer) in the computer section in an early configuration of the Computer section.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2018 negative scan: Colin Mackellar.

Computer section

Bryan Sullivan reading a printout, and Gordon Bendall (at the other 642B).

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2018 negative scan: Colin Mackellar.


Ian Anderson is seen at the Servo console in this early photo.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Negative scan: Colin Mackellar.


Ian Anderson is seen at the Servo console in this early photo.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Negative scan: Colin Mackellar.

USB section

The USB area during one of the Apollo missions.

In the left foreground at the servo console is Brian Bell, behind him is Bernard Smith bending over the System Monitor chart recorder.

On the right, reaching to punch up a communication loop is Supervisor John Mitchell at the SB1 desk, behind him is Peter Cohn.

Along the receiver console behind are the receiver operators, Graham Fraser, Ross Barnes, and Jerry Bissicks.

Photo and notes: Hamish Lindsay. Updated scan: Colin Mackellar.

The Communication Section in action in the earlier (Apollo) days.

“This section provided both internal and external communications, and received and sent voice and data to Houston or Goddard. The teletype messages, called twxs, were in constant use, like the e-mails of today.

Here Dick Stubbs, left foreground and Charlie Collins, right foreground, are sending teletype messages, while Tony Gerada is sitting at the operations console in the centre. Fred Hill [Comms Tech] is monitoring the switching and patch panel behind.”

Photo and notes: Hamish Lindsay.

John and Mike at the Ops console

John Saxon and Mike Dinn at the Ops console in early April 1970, during pre-mission simulations for Apollo 13.

In answer to a question about the use of closed circuit TV at Honeysuckle, John writes,

“One use for the CCTV cameras was to relay things like the required station configuration from the Ops console. A metallic board with magnetic tags and elastic to change interconnections! Mostly Mike’s invention I think. A CCTV camera was mounted on the wall behind our heads in the attached picture. Then the camera output was routed to various operating positions.”

Photo scanned by John Saxon.

Bill Perrin

Bill Perrin at the telemetry monitoring console during Apollo 15.

At the console he had a complete picture of the data stream from the RF from the receivers, through the telemetry section and its patching to the input to the computers.

Bill was Telemetry Supervisor for the last three moon landings.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Notes: Hamish Lindsay and Bill Perrin.
Updated scan by Colin Mackellar, 2020.

computer room

The computer room with a lonely looking Bryan Sullivan in the middle, September 1971 .

On either side of him are the keyboards, paper tape punches and readers, behind him are the teletype printers.

Along the back from the left is the heart of the computer system; a Univac expanded memory unit and a Univac 642B computer. My wide angle lens just could not fit a 642B computer on the left into the picture. The two 642B computers were identical, one for commands to the spacecraft and one for the telemetry to be sent to Goddard or Mission Control at Houston.

Next in line are four magnetic tape handlers, and on the end is a Univac 1218 computer for processing the antenna pointing commands, which had to be manually taken by reel tape to the Antenna Position Programmer (APP) in the USB area.

Photo and notes: Hamish Lindsay.
2020 updated scan: Colin Mackellar.

coffee break

Paul Mullen, servo technician (left), reaches for another styrofoam cup for coffee, while Mike Linney, telemetry operator fills his for another fix of caffeine during the Apollo 15 mission.

As you can see, we were expected to drink lots of tea and coffee to keep awake and alert during the night shifts.

Photo and notes: Hamish Lindsay.

Alan Foster and Lisa Jensen at work on the receivers in the USB
area. Paul Hutchinson at the APP is in the background on the left.
Taken during Apollo 15, on 6th August 1971.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Hamish with theodolite

Hamish Lindsay writes, “The Technical Support Section (TSS) had many varied jobs. As I had a theodolite, one job was limited surveying – such as the station boundary and the antenna horizon profile.”

Photo: Hamish Lindsay, 2018 scan: Colin Mackellar.

Stirling Finlay

Stirling Finlay in the Wire Room c. 1973.
Larger, Larger.

Scan: Stirling Finlay.

John Noonan

John Noonan in the early Apollo days chasing through a fault in the station communication system relays.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Jenny Hame

Jenny Hame was one of the early Technical Support Section (TSS) secretaries. Behind her are the station files, mainly copies of all the messages (called TWXs) sorted into the station sections or subjects.

The desk calendar reads Thursday 5 June 1969.

On Hamish Lindsay’s desk (closest to the camera), Newsweek magazine, dated June 2 1969, carries a composite image of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module (AS09-21-3182) and an Apollo 8 view of Langrenus (AS08-16-2616) to illustrate the just-completed Apollo 10 mission. The banner reads “9.4 Miles to the Moon”.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar

Jenny Hame

Detail from the above photo.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar

Bill Kempees (left), Chief Engineer, with Station Director Don Gray at the Operations Console.

Bill Kempees is the only person to work at all the Australian MSFN tracking Stations; Red Lake (Woomera), Muchea (Perth), Carnarvon, and Honeysuckle Creek.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

(If you’re keen, you might notice the Polaroid composition shot that Hamish used – just in view in the bottom left of frame.)

Data Demods

Between missions staff were kept busy upgrading the equipment for the next mission.

Here (from left) Martin Geasley, John Mitchell, Les Hughes, Graham Fraser, and Kevin Gallegos are installing new cables sent from Goddard.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Data Demods

Jerry Bissicks, Kevin Gallegos and Graham Fraser are
terminating new cables behind the Data Demods (SDDS) for the upcoming Apollo 15 mission.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Bert Forsythe

Original Deputy Director W.A.L. Bert Forsythe holding up a printout of ‘Miss Honeysuckle’, our very own pin-up that lived in the 642B computer.
Here she was telling us to have a Merry Christmas for 1967.

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.

In 2005, Ron Hicks brought his original print-out to a gathering in Sydney.

Wally Smallwood with Saturn V model

Wally Smallwood, the original Test Equipment Supervisor, with a beautifully built and painted model of the Saturn V and the Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT).

This amazing effort was built in his spare time in a caravan. I used my son’s Matchbox Ford and a couple of toy astronauts to emphasise the scale (they were to the same scale), Wally holding one of the astronauts on his finger.

The model was bought by the Department of Supply, but as it was made of balsa wood, eventually disintegrated from the stress of transportation.

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.
Photo taken February 1969.

Wally Smallwood with Saturn V model

Here’s a closeup of the model.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan: Colin Mackellar.

Wally and Bernie

Bernie Scrivener, the Department of Supply Admin Officer, with Wally Smallwood and his model of the Saturn V launch vehicle.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay.

Alan Shepard and Wally Smallwood's Saturn V

First American in space Alan Shepard
talks with Wally Smallwood (left) about his Saturn V model during Shepard’s visit to HSK on 9 September 1968.
Station Director Tom Reid is on the right.

Large, Larger.

Photo by Bernard Smith, scan by Colin Mackellar.

Nev Eyre

Nevil Eyre took over from Wally Smallwood as the Test Equipment Supervisor. Here he is servicing one of our faithful Tektronix oscilloscopes.

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.

Large, Larger (larger scan by Nevil Eyre).

Time for a beer

Here’s to the Swan Brewery!

After the Apollo 16 mission there was time to relax. From the smiles on the faces the free beer from Western Australia tasted good.

From left: Jerry Bissicks (USB), Don Gray (Station Director) replenishing Saxon’s glass, Geoff Seymour (Computer/Telemetry Engineer), John Saxon (Ops Supervisor), Ian Grant (Deputy Station Director), and Milton Turner (Departmental Admin Officer).

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.

working on Y skid servo motors

Working on the Y skid servo motors, hidden under the tarpaulins.

The antenna is vertical on the X axis but tilted over to the west on the Y axis, shown by the angle of the Transmitter Room wall at the top. The ladder and gangway to the Transmitter Room can be seen in the foreground. Ted Burt from the Facilities Section on the right with an unidentified helper.

Photo Hamish Lindsay.

Peter Gavin

Peter Gavin tweaking a gold plated module in the receivers during the Deep Space era.

After he left Honeysuckle Peter went on to become a commercial pilot.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. 2017 Rescan by Colin Mackellar.

Large, Very large.

Alex Sommariva

Alex Sommariva tuning the Exciter during the Deep Space era.

Photo: Hamish Lindsay. Scan by Colin Mackellar.

Large, Larger.

The girls of Honeysuckle

1975 was the International Women’s Year and I had the enjoyable task of going around all the offices in Canberra involved with space tracking and photographing all the girls.

Here are the girls of Honeysuckle Creek DSS44 on 13 May 1975, from left Gai Rossell (Station Director’s Secretary), Rhelma Burns (Receptionist), Barbara Vanderputt (Company Secretary), Margaret Morgan (Clerk), and Pearl Gregory (Canteen staff).

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.

Updated scan on this page.

Glikes and Hearn

Dean Gilkes (left) and Terry Hearn exercise their brains in the Test Equipment Section.

Photo and text: Hamish Lindsay.

Glikes and Hearn

Dean Gilkes and Terry Hearn.

Photo : Hamish Lindsay.

Gordon Bendall at the 1218

Gordon Bendall at the Univac 1218. Probably 1967.

Photo supplied by Ron Hicks.

computer section

Computer Complex – Gordon Bendall, Ron Hicks and Bryan Sullivan.

Photo supplied by Ron Hicks.


The Telemetry section. Bruce Withey is on the far right. Andrew McKean is in the foreground.

Photo supplied by Ron Hicks.

Bill Shaw

A Big Pig Dig!
One morning we came to work and found a lot of grass near the entrance gate had been ploughed up by the tusks of wild boars during the night. Poor Bill Shaw, the gardener, is contemplating how to restore his grass without too much work.

Photo and caption Hamish Lindsay.
2020 Re-scan: Colin Mackellar.

Model Saturn V launch

The Station Administration Officer (SAO) Milton Turner found a working model of the Saturn V in Canberra and we tried it out in the bare bit of ground by the entrance gate. The picture shows the model just after clearing the launch pad. It came safely down under parachute, and another Saturn V launch was added to its string of successes.

Photo and caption Hamish Lindsay.


See also

People at Work: Page 2 and

People at Work: Page 3.