Texas Tower 2's Tilt Meter

The following was sent by Charles "Chuck" Rowland.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Norm Sandnes, could you put us in touch with him. Email Chuck by clicking the link above. We'd like to contact him. Gene.
Gotta tell you a short story about TSgt. Norm Sandnes, one of our radar maint troops.

Norm was a WW2 vet with a fantastic sense of humor (acquired, I'm sure, as a result of combat in Europe, if all those ribbons he wore on his Class A's were any indication).

He built a "tilt indicator" in the FPS-3 tower. Inside the main support columns, in the center of the tower, he suspended a long string from the deck (floor) above, on which he hung a weight. On the bottom deck encircling the inside of the support columns he painted large, concentric circles, like a dart board or target. Each ring was labeled as to the condition of the sea or the movement of the tower. The outer ring was labeled, I believe, "abandon ship" (or it could have been another of his "dark humor" phrases. Time dims the memory.)

Gen. Partridge saw this on his tour of the tower, and I had the honor (?) of responding to his question "And what is that for?" Needless to say, he did not smile. Neither did the Colonels or the Tower C.O. But he let me keep my stripes. We busted-up AFTER the General's party left the 3-tower.

I heard only once from Norm after he retired. He was a DJ at some radio station. Haven't been able to get a response from him even trying it through the AF Locator in Texas. Norm had a strong hand in getting that paper [Tower Topics - see previous documents] out. I hope that somehow he'll see your web pages, sign in, and admit that a lot of the graphics and humorous articles originated from his hand and mind.

Return to Search Page