Documents From Members

Jim Heiser (Survey 1977-1980 & 1984-1987; Inertial Survey FEW, 1980-1984) passed on this thoughtful reminder, which may be of help to some of you in getting veterans’ benefits, especially for those who served only one term of enlistment or commission and have lost their records:

DD-214s are NOW Online. Please pass on to other Veterans.
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following web site for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online:
Vet Records At National Archives or try Military Service Records.

This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files. Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.

Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site. Because the requester 'will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records centers mailroom and processing time. Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents.”

For those of you who may have missed it, here is a DMA recruiting poster from "back in the day": Show Poster

The following documents were provided by Bill Carter. Here is Bill's note regarding the significance of these documents:

DKM3-A theodolite tests
1381st astro personnel did the astronomical observations for my MS thesis at Ohio State University, and later for a study I did while I was stationed at FEW AFB. I think that this work is of historical interest, because 1381st personnel did the observations and they led to significant improvements to the DKM3-A (better tracking knobs on the eyepiece micrometer, lower pitch leveling cams, more sensitive level vials in both the horrebow and striding levels, weights to stabilize the striding level, and invar legs on the striding level to reduce the effects of observer body heat on the striding level). Attached are a PDF of a document scan of my thesis (not very good quality, but mostly readable) and a few pages from the FEW test report. I have the full report, but I'm not sure if it is worth the work to scan it.

The following documents were provided by Garrett Moore:

The following document was provided by Mike Szyhowski It is a Warren Base Newspaper article from Oct 79. The 1381st GSS team included Larry Hootman, Bob Skolasky, Chet Mason, Bobby Walters, Jim Baxley, Mike Szyhowski, and Steve Barrows.

   "Surveyors Retain Golf Crown"

The following document recognizes the personnel who lost their lives in support of the IAGS mission in South America. Our thanks to Jack Hild for providing us with the research and document.

   "Lost IAGS Surveyors"

The following article from a 1956 National Geographic Magazine was provided by Ray Allen in January of 2015.:
In 1972 the Inter-American Geodetic Survey (IAGS), the agency in the article, became part of DMA, along with the Squadron and other MC&G assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force and State Department.

Quite a few of the Squadron's original civilian geodesists came from IAGS. Many of the photos in the article show instruments that our veterans will be familiar with---the Wild T3 theodolite, Wild precision level, the tellurometer EDM, the Bilby tower, invar precision tape, etc.

    "Men Who Measure the Earth"

The following article has been contributed to the web site by John DePuy (GSS 66 - 72) and Ray Allen. It is an article from the February 1980 issue of the Airman magazine.
   Feb 1980 Airman Article "A Call To Adventure".

Ray Allen sent in several articles he ran across while cleaning up some old boxes of materials he collected during his military career.

The following document discusses the Geodetic & Geophysical requirements involved in the Minuteman ICBM program.

    "Minuteman G&G Error Budget, May 2016"

The following document (in two parts) was retyped from the original (poor photo-copy) and provided by Doug Young in January of 2012. Please contact Doug if you notice any needed corrections.

The following link was provided by Kirby Logan. Here is what Kirby said about his search for the information:

Additionally, information about some of the details is becoming more difficult to find about the development of the Stellar Camera Division, one of which I recently found when trying to locate the company that built the whole system, The Instrument Corporation of Florida, Melbourne, FL. I did a search on the PC 100 camera and discovered the following link that is very interesting...


Thank you, Kirby, for helping complete our historical perspective on the Squadron and its various Divisions and activities.

The following item was provided by Lee Robert. It is an article from the FEW Base Newspaper, the "Warren Sentinel". It is in two pieces, but still readable in "PDF" format.

Thank you, Lee, for helping complete our historical perspective on the Squadron and its various Divisions and activities.

The following document was provided by Gordon Barnes, Director of Membership, Air Force Photo-Mapper Association. It is a well written summary of the history of our units.

    Our Ground Geodetic Surveyor Brethren

Some interesting information on the early history of our Squadron / Wing is found in this article, discovered on line by Dick Winslow:

NOAA History: The Aftermath of War: Rockets, Reconnaissance, and the Velocity of Light

and Allan Walcker added some comments of his own:

In 1944 General LaMay wanted Photos of before and after bomb runs in Germany. That was the start of survey work.

In 1949, I joined the 7th Geodetic Squadron at Mountain Home, Idaho. The Squadron had moved to Topeka, KS. it was later that year it become known as the 338th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. The Squadron move to Barksdale AFB, LA and then to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico.

I was stationed in Alaska from May to August of 1950, 1951 and 1952. During that time about 25000 miles of photos were taken. Each Photo has an 80% overlap. The photos were one out of each side of plane plus the one looking straight down.

In 1952, the Navy started to use this equipment to do survey of the ocean bottom from Florida all the way to South America. At this time, I was shown Navy Maps of the Caribbean that were made by the British and they were dated 1787. I, also, heard that some of the maps of Southern Asia were dated about that time in use by Navy during WWII.

In 1954, the Squadron was renamed the 1371st Photo Mapping Squadron, West Palm Beach, FL.

I left the outfit in June 1955.

Thank you, NOAA and Allan for your contributions to our knowledge of the early history of our Squadron and of the military use of geodetic surveying.

Allan Walcker also sent in quite a lot of information about the use of HIRAN and SHORAN in the early days of aerial surveying. The index page for this documentation provides access to this volume of work. It sheds light on our historical origins.

Notes relating to a project carried out by our Squadron in 1965-66. First hand recollections by the participants. I believe that Gordon Barnes and Garrett Moore are the originators of this document as they have been very active in collecting historical documentation for our Squadron.

Calibration Surveys Final Draft

Notes relating to the Eastern Pacific Survey of 1963. In particular, the Hawaiian Gravity Survey completed by our Squadron. This is a large document, so it is slow loading.

Hawaiian Gravity 1963

The following documents were provided by

Professor Robert B. Smith
Research and Emeritus Professor of Geophysics,
Director, Yellowstone seismograph stations
Coordinating Scientist Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

The following document was provided by John Nolton a former Marine, and a geodetic surveyor. John thinks it was Obie Chambers that had it displayed at a reunion. He gave John the copy he scanned for use here.

   Command Lines article, " Pride and Integrity" authored by Lt. Col. H. G. Peterson, the first commander of the 1381st Geodetic Survey Squadron.

The following document was provided by Garrett Moore:

A PowerPoint briefing from NIMA (successor to DMA; predecessor of NGA) that explains why astronomic observations are still needed. The link provided to this PowerPoint Show connects to Your browser must support the Adobe Flash Plug-In to view the show on their web site. PowerShow also conveniently allows you to download the show to your own machine, which might work best for many of you.

The PowerShow web site offers many PowerPoint Shows on a variety of topics, and you may also upload your own PowerPoint shows. If you search the PowerShow web site for "NIMA" you will find a plethora of similar PowerPoint Shows on topics relating to earth science / astrophysics which also may be of interest to you.:

    A PowerPoint briefing from NIMA

Jim Porterfield submitted the attached article. (Bill Carter rescanned it to make it a little easier to read.) The article includes pictures of and/or mention of: A1C Larry Roy; A1C James D. Porterfield; A3C Shaffer Bloodgood; Civ Charles F. Cramer; 1st Lt William Carter; and Lt Col Harry G. Peterson.

   AF Team 'Shoots The Stars'

Some photos sent in by Bill Carter that relate to the TDY in Minot, ND may be seen here.