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Remembering the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Phillip Angelle

Remembering the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Phillip Angelle

As a child growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, I remember my dad working for Honeywell. I never fully understood what kind of work he did, but I knew that it had something to do with computers. My friends would ask, “What does your dad do?”

“Something with computers,” I would respond.

But let’s go a bit further back (before I was born). In 1969, my father, Phillip A. Angelle was an engineer working for The Boeing Company. He, my mom Sandra and their five children lived in Slidell, Louisiana. Phillip was working on the Saturn V S-1C stage as a test engineer for the Mechanical Test Requirements team. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, I recently sat down with my father and mother to learn more about his involvement in this historic achievement.

From Slidell, it was about a 30-mile commute to the Michoud Assembly Facility. Phillip recalls that Boeing was under contract to build around 17 of these S-1C stages for each of the Saturn V’s that would be used on various missions. Each one was constructed in a horizontal position on a trailer. After it had been assembled and tested, the S-1C stage would be shipped down the Mississippi River to the Mississippi Test Facility. There, they would go through the loading of the fuel and fire the engines for a short test to make sure all of the functions were working correctly. After that, it was barged back to Michoud, where it went through refurbishment and retesting to be sent to Cape Kennedy.

Phillip also visited Cape Kennedy Space Center, to see the vertical assembly building which housed the entire rocket along with the launch mechanism. Sandra remembers attending a launch party at one of their coworkers’ houses, where all of the husbands and wives gathered. Sandra says, “We watched the actual landing on the moon, and it was very celebratory. Everyone was cheering and it was a very proud moment of an amazing accomplishment in history.”

When I was a child, I remember this plaque that hung in my dad’s office, to Phillip A. Angelle, from The Boeing Company in honor of this event.

My dad also showed me a letter of appreciation that he was given for his role in testing a bulkhead, working long hours to eliminate delays in their mission.

After completing all of the S-1C stages that would be used on the Saturn V, Phillip had the opportunity to move to Seattle, Washington if he were to stay with The Boeing Company, but he didn’t want to move that far away from his hometown in Bridge City, Texas. Instead, he took a job in Phoenix, Arizona with General Electric working with large main-frame computers. Within a year, Honeywell purchased the GE division and Philip became a Honeywell employee. Honeywell went through several partnerships over the years. Honeywell became Honeywell Bull, and eventually Phillip retired from Bull after 35 years.

I’ve now been working for Honeywell for 15 years, and I asked my dad, “Do you know what I do at Honeywell?” Phillip says he’s not quite sure.

“Something with computers,” I tell him.

To wrap up the interview, I tell my dad about the new brand campaign that Honeywell is launching, “The Future is What We Make It,” and how proud I am that he is a #FutureShaper and how thankful I am to follow in his footsteps and also be a #FutureShaper.

Emily Davis
IT Business Partner
Emily Davis is an IT Business Partner with Honeywell Aerospace. Emily joined Honeywell in February 2005 and specializes in end-to-end project execution including: requirements definition, user experience, testing, website development and agile methodology.

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