Canaveral Junior

Wallops Island gets ready for the big time

(NASA Wallops Flight Facility)

Deacon Booster Accident


Technician Durwood Dereng works on a double Deacon booster with an aerodynamic research vehicle perched on top in February 1951. Later that year, Dereng was injured in one of the worst accidents ever at Wallops, when another Deacon fired while he was standing on a ladder at the pad. Considering that the rocket and its blast both hit him on the way up, Dereng escaped relatively easy: He lost one hand and broke a bone in the other.


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