3/6/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As we celebrate Air Force Space Command's 30th Anniversary we recognize individuals who played a significant role in the history of the Air Force space and missile programs - our Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers.....
This week we recognize Major General Osmond J. Ritland and Colonel Edward N. Hall
Major General Osmond J. Ritland organized the 4925th Test Group
(Atomic), in 1950, which was responsible for development testing of all
equipment needed to attain the Air Force's nuclear weapons capability.
In 1954, he served as Chief, Atomic Energy Division, HQ USAF, where he
supervised and coordinated all atomic energy matters involving Air Force
Major General Bernard A. Schriever, had General Ritland handle the
beginnings of the space effort. In 1956 he was responsible for the day
to- day management of the organization and its ambitious Weapon System
117L satellite program, the forerunner of the entire Air Force space
program. Following the launch of Sputnik in 1957, General Ritland helped
the U.S. start a program to realize an operational photographic
reconnaissance satellite employing a recoverable capsule in the spring
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, NASA awarded him its Exceptional
Service Medal for his contributions to the Mercury and Gemini Manned
Space Flight Programs and the Air Force awarded General Ritland its
first Distinguished Service Medal.
Read More About Maj Gen Ritland: http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100405-057.pdf
Colonel Edward N. Hall's introduction to missiles
came near the end of WWII when he was assigned to acquire intelligence
on Germany's wartime propulsion work. After the war, Hall participated
in the development of solid and liquid rocket power plants at
In 1951, he was one of four people at Wright Air Development Center
(WADC) who were instrumental in the initiation of Project MX-1593, the
Atlas program. Later, Hall joined Western Development Division, where he
was responsible for the programs leading to development of engines for
the Atlas, Titan, and Thor missiles.
He next took advantage of a Navy request for DoD approval of a
solid-propellant ballistic missile and obtained permission for the Air
Force to undertake general work on such a capability. Hall directed the
Weapon System 133A (Minuteman) program until the eve of the missile's
first complete flight test.