Person:Wilhelm Angele

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Wilhelm Angele

Wilhelm Angele (Find a Grave)

Wilhelm Angele (Find a Grave)

"Their eyes were on the stars, too. Von Braun and others helped form the Rocket City Astronomical Society and went door-to-door soliciting money to build this observatory on the backside of Monte Sano State Park. Here, Wilhelm Angele checks the twenty-one-inch telescope in what is now the Von Braun Astronomical Society's observatory. Photograph courtesy of The Huntsville Times." (Dooling)
 Aerospace Engineer and Scientist

Born:February 8, 1905, Memmingen, Germany
Died:August 22, 1996, Richmond, Virginia
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama


•  "Wilhelm Angele, a member of the team of scientists who began the American rocket program in the 1950's and whose last contribution will help test parts of Einstein's general theory of relativity in a project scheduled for the year 2002, died on Aug. 22 in a hospital in Richmond. Mr. Angele, who was 91, formerly lived in Huntsville, Ala., where he worked at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.

     He was born in Memmingen, Germany, became an engineer and was hired by the Siemens concern in Berlin to develop ways to make color film for the movies.
     Working with the German armed forces in World War II, Mr. Angele joined Wernher von Braun's engineering team and made electrical parts for the guidance system of the V-2 rockets that struck Britain near the end of the war.
     Along with Dr. von Braun and most of the scientists who worked in the German town of Peenemunde, Mr. Angele was brought in secrecy to the United States. In 1950, the team moved to Huntsville to start a rocket program. Subsequently, Mr. Angele worked on a number of projects for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, including the Saturn launching rocket.
     He specialized in developing flat conductor cables for electricity and the fittings to connect them, and he received many patents for this work. The technology was useful in space technology because flat cables take up less room than the conventional round ones.
     He also devised machinery to produce perfectly round spheres and a way to measure deviations in roundness within one-tenth of a millionth of an inch. That feat, achieved at the space flight center in Huntsville in the 1960's, contributed to the current project for NASA being conducted by the physics department of Stanford University, Gravity Probe B.
     Scheduled for launching in October 2002, the Gravity Probe B is designed to investigate problems in the relativity of space and time, and Einstein's formulation of it.
     Gravity Probe B will orbit at an altitude of 400 miles directly over the poles. Its vital gyroscope rotors, fine-tuned with Mr. Angele's technology, are so free of disturbance that the mission will provide an almost perfect way of measuring space in reference to time.
     Mr. Angele retired from NASA in 1974 as a division chief in Huntsville, overseeing the practical applications of space hardware.
     His wife of 52 years, Hildegard Zimmermann Angele, died last year. He is survived by two daughters, Barbara Lusk of Huntsville and Christiane Jacobson of Richmond." - Saxon

•  "Not until Redstone Arsenal was made the Rocket Development center for the U. S. Army did the mother Church of Protestantism come to the city of Huntsville. For a number of years small groups of Lutherans held services in various locations in the city, however with Redstone and the coming of 125 families of German Scientists to the city from El Paso, Texas, a majority of whom were Lutheran, was there truly a need for the Lutheran Church.
     The Georgia-Alabama Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America through its president, Dr. Charles A. Linn, Ph.D., began services in June, 1950, with a Seminary student, Reverend William Hartmen, in charge. On February 1, 1951, the Missions Board called Reverend George F. Hart of Jacksonville, Florida, to come and organize the work. Upon Mr. Hart's arrival a local committee was appointed composed of Edward Tesmer, H. Cole Reasin, Dr. Hans Friederick, Fred Schwartz, Bernd Ostoff, and Donald Conn to work with the pastor in the development of a congregation.
     In March, 1951, the present property on the N. W. corner of Franklin and Longwood was purchased with the help of the Church at large. This property being the former home of Chambers Funeral Home. A group of interested men under the direction of Mr. Wilhelm Angele built in garages the present steeple and in two hours on Saturday they erected it on the Church." - Sesquicentennial

•  The Rocket City Astronomical Association: "In the fall and winter of 1954 and early spring of 1955, a number of Redstone Arsenal Scientists, Huntsville business people, teen-agers and others interested in Astronomy, met at the home of Dr. Martin Schilling for the purpose of discussing their mutual interest, astronomy. From those early informal meetings came the decision to organize a club and to purchase a large telescope.
     With money donated by members of that original group, the club purchased, in March of 1955, a professional type 16-1/2 inch reflecting telescope and made plans for its erection in an observatory to be built by the members on Monte Sano Mountain near Huntsville.
     On April 4, 1955, at a meeting held in the new Huntsville High School, the club elected the first officers and board of directors, approved its own constitution and adopted the name 'Rocket City Astronomical Association.'"
      Wilhelm Angele became the committee chairman for Observatory Construction. - Sesquicentennial

•  "The County even helped in construction of the planetarium on Monte Sano, designed by Wilhelm Angele, and dedicated in November by the Rocket City Astronomical Association." - Record

•  "Spearheading the move of German families from Fort Bliss, Texas were Hans Lindenmayr and Leopold Osthoff. In May o f 1950, Mr. Osthoff purchased the 36 acre farm, representing the following families: W. Angele, K. Debus, K. Hager, K. Heimburg. G. Mandel. H. Millinger, E. Neubert, E. Rees, A. Schuler, H. Horn, H. Bergeler, H. Lindenmayr, W. Voss, A. Rudolph, and L. Osthoff. The price: $7,000. Now came the work of developing the farm into residential lots." - McCanless

•  Wilhelm Angele
Aerospace Engineer and Scientist
     Wilhelm Angele was born Wednesday, February 8, 1905, in Memmingen, Germany to Wilhelm Angele Sr. and Magdalena Wilhelm Angele.
     As a young man, Mr. Angele completed an apprenticeship and became an electrician. Mr. Angele then attended The Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg in the late 1920s. After graduation, he was employed as an engineer by Siemens in Berlin, to develop a way to make color film for the German cinema industry. He was later employed by chemical and film giant, AFGA.
     Mr. Angele was part of a team of german engineers and rocket scientists, who developed control systems for V2 rockets for the Nazis in World War II.
     In 1946, Mr. Angele was asked by Wernher von Braun to join his elite group of german scientists and technicians that had been recruited by the United States, so that their technical skills could be utilized to develop rockets for the U.S.
     From this time on, the many history-making accomplishments in the life of Wilhelm Angele make it somewhat overwhelming in attempting to compile a short biography. At the time of his passing, obituaries were published in numerous major newspapers such as The New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and others. A much more detailed biography appears in Wikipedia, along with other links to published material concerning his specific achievements.
     His participation in the development of gyroscopes, guidance systems for rockets, aircraft, spacecraft, his patents for ribbon cables, and his countless contributions to the success of the U.S. Space Program should be noted, because benefits of his work touch millions of lives, daily. He won many prestigious awards from the technical industries that he was associated with.
     His wife of 52 years, Hildegard Zimmermann Angele preceded him in death. Wilhelm and Hildegard Angele had two daughters.
     Mr. Angele died Thursday, August 22, 1996, in Richmond, Virginia, at age 91.
Obituary by Gene Hill - Find a Grave

Related Links:
•  Amazon - He authored a book "Flat Conductor Cable Technology, 1958-1974" currently out-of-print.
•  Dooling - Huntsville, A Pictorial History, by Dave & Sharon Dooling, 1980, page166
•  Find a Grave - Page originally created by Bobbie Christian and maintained by Gene Hill
•  McCanless - Article titled "mountain Settlers of the 50's (1950's that is) by Goerge f. McCanless, Jr. in Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XX, #2, Summer, 1994, Historic Huntsville Foundation, page 92.
•  Record - A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United States, Volume II, by James Record, 1978, page 784.
•  Richter-Haaser - An extract from the Autobiography of Elfriede Richter-Haaser in Historic Huntsville Quarterly, Vol. XVII, #3-4, Summer-Fall, 1991, Historic Huntsville Foundation, page 14.
•  Saxon - Article titled "Wilhelm Angele, 91, Engineer in Space Program" By WOLFGANG SAXON, New York Times, Published: September 1, 1996
•  Sesquicentennial - Commemorative Album, Celebrating our City's Sesquicentennial of Progress, Huntsville, Alabama, by James E. Taylor, General Chairman, 1955 , pages 165-166
•  Sloan - Article titled "Wilhelm Angele Mementos Donated" by Steve Sloan in the VIA STELLARIS Vo. 35, Issue 12, December, 2007, page 6.
•  Wiki Photo - Project Paperclip Team at Fort Bliss.jpg
•  Wikipedia - Biographical information (Entry written in German)

"Group of 104 German rocket scientists in 1946, including Wernher von Braun,[1] Ludwig Roth and Arthur Rudolph, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The group had been subdivided into two sections: a smaller one at White Sands Proving Grounds for test launches and the larger at Fort Bliss for research.[2] Many had worked to develop the V-2 Rocket at Peenemünde Germany and came to the U.S. after World War II, subsequently working on various rockets including the Explorer 1 Space rocket and the Saturn (rocket) at NASA." Image and caption from Wikipedia.
"This is the key to identifying the Von Braun Team and his fellow German Rocket Experts before moving from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Huntsville, Alabama." Key from

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