Hans Joachim Oskar Fichtner

Photo by Glenn Baeske of the Huntsville Times. From Al.com (Roop)
 German Rocket Scientist

Born:September 8, 1917, Leipzig, Germany
Died:October 21, 2012, Huntsville, Alabama
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama


•  "Hans Joachim Fichtner, a member of the original German rocket team that came to Huntsville in 1950 and helped build the Saturn V in the 1960s, died Oct. 21 at age 95. Fichtner served as the chief of the Space Vehicle and Ground Support Equipment Division at the Marshall Space Flight Center. He led the design of the Saturn V electrical systems and the development of the first automated computerized checkout system used at the Cape Canaveral launch site to ensure the Saturn's guidance and control, power systems, and emergency detection systems would work during launch and space operations. This was the first automated checkout system developed for large space vehicles. His team designed, built and operated the Automated Development Facility, a Marshall ground-based facility that tested Saturn electrical systems. Fichtner assisted with the design of the guidance and control systems for Explorer satellites developed at Marshall. He is survived by his daughters, Sigrid Scott of Carrollton, Ga., and Monica Bell of Huntsville." - Marshall Star

•  Hans-Joach Fichtner was on the list of 118 men who were brought from the Peenemuende Project to America at the close of World War II. "They were transferred within the country from New York and Massachusetts to Ft. Bliss, near El Paso, Texas, under the code name 'Paper Clip'. They were moved to Huntsville's abandoned Redstone Arsenal in 1950 by U.S. Army Colonel Holger Nelson Toftoy. Citizenship was granted to them in 1955 at a ceremony conducted in Huntsville High School. All aspects of life in Huntsville were changed by their presence, not just by their technology. Huntsville and the world have never been the same since the mid-1950's when the Germans came to town." - Rankin

•  Married to Christa Luise Fichtner (July 7, 1917 - Oct. 5, 2005) - Find A Grave

•  Chart codes and keys combined below:
     Group 1 (this means he was in the first group that arrived on the SS Argentina on 11/16/1945 and went to Ft Bliss before coming to Huntsville)
     He was one of the "original 118 Team" at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL.
     MSFC means he worked at Marshall Space Flight Center when he moved to Huntsville
     R means Research and Development
     ASTR means Astrionics. According to Wikipedia "Astrionics is the science and technology of the development and application of electronic systems, sub-systems, and components used in spacecraft."
     Electrical Integration
     7787 is the building number wher he work. - Woodard

Related Links:

•  Collect Space - Story

•  Find A Grave - Page created by Sidney Allen

•  Marshall Star - Obituary from Marshall Star. Article titled: Hans Joachim Fichtner, Former Chief of Marshall's Space Vehicle and Ground Support Equipment Division, Dies, October 24, 2012.

•  Roop - Article titled "Funeral Services Saturday for Hans Fichtner, member of von Braun's Rocket Team", by Lee Roop, in al.com. (Photo by Glenn Baeske of the Huntsville Times)

•  Team - Rocket Team at Fort Bliss

•  Wikipedia - Profile

•  Woodard - Names of the "Original 118 Team" at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. List found here at Lunarpedia.org. Page under "Pioneers, Schemers and Dreamers" submitted by Grady Woodard. List shows names after Ft. Bliss with their reference work location and building number, from Redstone-Army Missile Command Roster - June 1966, MSFC 1960-1967 Charts, Organization Roster - June 1967

•  Rankin - Article titled "German Rocket Scientist Team" by John P. Rankin in The Heritage of Madison County, Alabama, by The Madison County Heritage Book Committee, John P. Rankin, Chairman, 1998, page 50.

"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 history.msfc.nasa.gov.