Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Explorers & Workers
  Sgt. Barton and the Cape's "Barton FREEway"

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Sgt. Barton and the Cape's "Barton FREEway"
Gilly
New Member

Posts: 4
From:
Registered: Feb 2010

posted 12-05-2011 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilly   Click Here to Email Gilly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone remember where I could have read about Sgt. Barton and a road that seemed to spring up overnight at the Cape?

I thought it was in Guenter Wendt's excellent "Unbroken Chain" but cannot locate the passage.

It was referred to as a "The Barton FREEway" as the money wasn't in the budget to get it done, but yet it was built anyways. I want to say from crew quarters to one of the pads.

There are definite references to Sgt. Barton in "The Unbroken Chain" but can't find the reference to a road he probably managed to get built. It possibly was in a different book, I have many that cover this era.

On edit: My guess is that this was during either Gemini or Mercury/Atlas shots. During Mercury/Redstone I believe Shepard and Grisson quartered at Hangar S, and this was quite a distance form the pads, I think the road that was built was fairly short, but cut off quite a bit of travel time, nice little shortcut road.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27427
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-05-2011 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to a quick Google Books search, there is a reference to the "Barton FREEway" in Gus Grissom's "Gemini: A Personal Account of Man's Venture into Space." It references that the road was between the medical trailer and Pad 19.

Gilly
New Member

Posts: 4
From:
Registered: Feb 2010

posted 12-05-2011 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilly   Click Here to Email Gilly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert, I have the book "Grissom: The Lost Astronaut" possibly it is referenced there. Too many books!

goldbera
Member

Posts: 20
From: Melbourne, FL
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-06-2011 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for goldbera     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if it became Heavy Launch Road?

Here's a Google Map of the area. Pad 19 is at the top right corner, just north of the intersection of Heavy Launch Road and ICBM Road. CCAFS Hangars are towards the bottom left.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-06-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could it be the dirt road seen in Gemini 10 photo S66-41235 between the suit-up trailer at Pad 16 and what looks like Pad 19 in the background?

Gilly
New Member

Posts: 4
From:
Registered: Feb 2010

posted 12-06-2011 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilly   Click Here to Email Gilly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's sort of what I had in mind (finding it on Google Earth) when I asked about it. It seems like it would have had only limited use and after the Gemini shots, probably faded away.

Indeed it was in my book about Grissom. He was referred to as Air Force Warrant Officer Gunner Barton. I am not much on the military but I didn't think the USAF had "Warrant Officers". But, no matter really. Kind of funny as Grissom wrote "The Gunner was looking particularly innocent...".

So anyways, they refer to the road starting at the medical trailer, the key would be to find out just where about the medical trailer sat. Grissom wrote about the new crew quarters being rather posh compared to Hangar S, I guess I don't even know where the crew quarters were for Gemini.

Sy Liebergot
Member

Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 12-07-2011 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a bit of trivia that Kate Cooper passed on to me in 1999:
The Barton Freeway

Gus (Grissom) and the other Gemini astronauts used to dress at Pad 16 and ride in a van over to Pad 19 (which was right next door). The road took them the long way around and Gus complained about the long ride in those hot suits.

One morning they went out there, dressed, climbed into the van, and discovered themselves at Pad 19 within just a minute. What they found when they looked outside was a nicely paved road cutting straight through the brush between the two pads.

No one ever owned up to it but Gus had a hunch that CW4 Elmer Barton (known as the "King of Pad 16"), who couldn't get military approval for the road, got a bunch of guys to go out there one night. They cut down the scrub, put in the road, and paved it all between missions!

Several days later, CW4 Barton went out to work and discovered a couple of very nice signs had been put in along the road overnight, proclaiming it the "Barton FREEway". Gus, of course, was behind it.

The "FREE" is in all caps because, as they suspected, the military didn't approve the money to do it so Barton and his buddies did it on their own. Barton never did admit to doing it but he was the one.

His daughter now has the signs, and he admitted to it in his letter to me. Hopefully, he is now willing to tell the whole story.

Roger McCormick wants to recreate the road as part of the history of the Cape and, if Mr. Barton will tell me (Kate Cooper) the whole story, I will donate his papers to the museum over there.

PeterO
Member

Posts: 197
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-07-2011 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a screen shot from Google Earth showing LC 19 at the top and LC 16 at the bottom. The arrows show what looks like an overgrown and eroded tarred road when zoomed in. It's not quite a straight shot, but it's plausible.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 543
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 12-07-2011 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gilly:
I guess I don't even know where the crew quarters were for Gemini.
Operations and Checkout (O&C).

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-08-2011 06:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
S64-22412 is a photo of the first Gemini launch at Pad 19. You can see lots of vehicles and trailers parked outside the blockhouse during the launch. So I am wondering why the Gemini astronauts did not suit-up at Pad 19 for the manned launches instead of at Pad 16.

PeterO
Member

Posts: 197
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-08-2011 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
S64-22412 is a photo of the first Gemini launch at Pad 19.
There's definitely a road straight between the pads, running horizontally from the widest part of the plume to the nearest corner of the LC 16 pad (and nowhere near where I thought I could see it).

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-08-2011 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That photo is dated April 8, 1964.

It looks like you can still see the south end of that road next to the skimming basin just north of the "LC-16" identifier on your screen shot above.

Maybe what you outined with yellow arrows is the dirt road in S66-41235. That would place the suit-up trailer near the Pad 16 blockhouse.

PeterO
Member

Posts: 197
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-08-2011 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another Google Earth image, this one from early 2006. The road from the LC 16 blockhouse is much more clearly visible. However, even in the earliest Google Earth image from 1994, there is no trace of the road from the corner of LC 16 pad.

Is it possible that the dirt road was the one from the corner of LC 16, and the paved road was the one I identified? That would make sense, since the dirt road would disappear back into the environment as soon as it was no longer in use.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-08-2011 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks to me like there is a larger paved road in photo S64-22412, and a smaller dirt road in photo S66-41235.

The road between Pad 16 and Pad 19 in the S64-22412 Gemini 1 launch photo might be the Barton FREEway, and the S66-41235 photo of Young and Collins outside the suiting-up trailer was probably taken near the Pad 16 blockhouse.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-12-2011 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can also see that road between Pad 16 and Pad 19 in the famous 64PC-0082 "Missile Row" photo. It is the diagonal road just above the launch tower at Pad 16. Gemini 2 was on Pad 19 when the aerial photo was taken on November 13, 1964.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 12-29-2011 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Gemini 10 newsreel footage shows astronauts Young and Collins leaving the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building for Pad 16 on launch day. It also shows the crew leaving the suiting-up trailer, boarding the crew transfer van and heading out to Pad 19 on the dirt road seen in photo S66-41235.

mgspacecadet
Member

Posts: 11
From:
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-25-2012 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mgspacecadet   Click Here to Email mgspacecadet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two fellow Kennedy Space Center employees and I walked down Barton FREEway on Friday, April 20, 2012, from LC-19 to LC-16. The previously mentioned "screen shot from Google Earth" posting is accurate; reference the yellow arrows.

I have been looking for the exact location of Barton FREEway for some time and finally pinned it down. Thank you very much for all the previous postings on this matter!

The FREEway was paved and still is, what is left of it. We also pinned down the exact location of the suit-up trailer at LC-16, by researching vintage photos and videos. There are still vintage telephone poles and concrete curbing in place at LC-16, helping pin this down!

In addition to the previously posted Gemini 10 British sponsored video, this Gemini 6 YouTube video (CBS coverage at the time) is really neat, and narrated by Walter Cronkite. At some 7 minutes, 5 seconds into the video, you will see the then Astrovan in action on Barton FREEway, making its way from LC-19 to LC-16.

I have more detailed information on my/our Barton FREEway Adventure, including photos, as I send out an email called the 'Neat Information Update,' NIU. Just send me your email address if you would like to be added to the NIU distribution.

I also have a photo of a Barton FREEway sign, autographed by Tom Stafford and Elmer Barton. The photo, circa 2010, was taken in the office building of the CCAFS Director of Operations.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-25-2012 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mgspacecadet:
We also pinned down the exact location of the suit-up trailer at LC-16
There is also this British newsreel footage that shows Pad 19 and the location of the Gemini suiting-up trailer in the same shot as the camera pans. It then shows the Gemini 9A crew entering the transfer van and heading to Pad 19 on the road just west of the trailer. Great footage.

mgspacecadet
Member

Posts: 11
From:
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-30-2012 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mgspacecadet   Click Here to Email mgspacecadet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found an interview of Elmer Barton, from April 2000, on the 'JSC Oral History Project' webpage. See starting at page 23 of interview transcript about Barton FREEway details!

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 07-31-2013 07:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gemini 10 photo S66-41235 (linked earlier) was taken outside the suiting-up trailer at Pad 16. You can actually see the "BARTON FREEway" sign in the background near the fence at left-center.

Here is a high-resolution version of S66-41235, but the image is reversed.

LM-12
Member

Posts: 826
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 08-01-2013 06:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This photo of Elmer Barton at the sign is from the Barton FREEway article on the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, Cape Canaveral website.

dabolton
Member

Posts: 219
From: Round Lake, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 08-01-2013 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The labor was obviously volunteer but who paid for the road material? Had to cost a fair amount of dollars, even adjusted for 1964 prices.

*Edit. Sorry I see in the linked article that it was done for another reason and the costs probably associated with that.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement