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Vandenberg Air Force Base (Images of America) Paperback – December 1, 2014
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From the Author
After graduating from college, I joined the United States Air Force soon after, being assigned to various space and missile assignments, starting with my training at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Over the course of a decade, I've had many space-related jobs, such as intercontinental ballistic missile crew commander and space intelligence officer to name a few.
Getting another opportunity to be stationed in California's Central Coast in 2013, I "joined forces" with the Vandenberg Space and Missile Heritage Center at Space Launch Complex Ten (SLC-10) during the research of this book. The museum director, Mr. Jay Prichard, was invaluable in providing research materials and the "color" that brings these stories to life. For this, I owe him big-time.
Compiling field research for Vandenberg Air Force Base took me into the debris field of an exploded Titan I missile silo, through the bullet-laden sand dunes of Purisima Point, and along the chilling stretch of Point Pednerales where maritime ghosts of wrecked ships still reside. The last "fact" was the spookiest part of the research - stories of the Sun Bonnet Girls watching their kinsmen raid ships that ran aground near Point Pednerales (near Honda Canyon Creek) sounded like fiction... or stories you'd hear from medieval times.
I hope that this book will serve as a much-needed historic pictorial record about Vandenberg's people and places throughout the decades, allowing readers to experience the wonder and amazement of this unique location.
Finally...I have met quite a few people who have been to Vandenberg Air Force Base, either visiting or stationed here, that did not know about the critical role Vandenberg played during the Cold War. Additionally, not many knew of the base's Space and Missile Heritage Center, which chronicles the historic exploits of Vandenberg's "steely-eyed" missile men and women over the course of the last five and a half decades. My desire is to capture these stories in a photographic format to pass along to our children, so we can say "I was there, I worked on that..." The base's mission spreads over ninety-nine thousand acres and literally from the ocean floor to outer space - this book only covers the tip of the iceberg that is Vandenberg Air Force Base.
I want this book to be the start of a generational conversation: grandchild-to-grandparent, sibling-to-sibling, daughter-to-mother, son-to-father... "Tell me what you did at Vandenberg..."
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
"Steve" an employee from the base who had the book with him on a lunch break was asked what he thought of it. "I greatly enjoy it! It is very eye opening to what all took place here. I am really looking forward to getting out to the heritage center to see it for myself."
I believe Mr. Page did a really great job with helping us remember that this arm of the Air Force is slowly slipping away from us. There is a huge amount of pilot stories. However, the space mission was not fought with bullets and dog fights, but rather men who saw beyond the current science of their day and went out to create the science of tomorrow. Mr. Page helped remind us that there are very few veterans and retired men and woman who built this technology still around to tell this story to us, and he did his best to bring it to us.
During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vandenberg lost two of its own, Commander Dwayne G. Wolfe in 2009, and Airman Daniel Johnson a year later. The community newspapers provided extensive coverage about their deaths and later reported on the Vandenberg team honoring both men in separate public ceremonies at the base by naming the new Fitness Center after Commander Wolfe, and constructing a large concrete memorial nearby to Airman Johnson. Page mentions the memorial to Airman Johnson, but completely overlooks Commander Wolfe. He is not mentioned anywhere in the book. The omission is a disgraceful insult to the memory of an honorable man who made the ultimate sacrifice. Shame on you Mr. Page.
Another vital omission from the book is the history of the U.S. Navy at the area formerly known as south Camp Cooke. Between 1958 and 1965, the U.S. Navy operated the Point Arguello Missile Facility from this location and managed the launch range used by the Air Force, which Page incorrectly calls the Western Test Range. During that time it was known as the Pacific Missile Rage.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative history of Vanderberg Air Force Base and contribution to the area.Published 4 months ago by Mary Edwards
As an USAF member stationed @ Vandenberg 1961-1963..brought back memories...also learned interesting early history...Published 14 months ago by Edward M. Mullins
In December 2014, Joseph Page reviewed my book CAMP COOKE AND VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, 1941-1966 on Amazon.com. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jeffrey