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William W. Varnedoe Collection

Identifier: MC-83
Photos, newspaper clippings, documents pertaining to various missile and space programs.


  • 1956-05 - 1987-09-18


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


1 Linear Feet (1 box.)

Biographical / Historical

William Varnedoe was born in Savannah, Georgia but was raised in Montgomery, Alabama. He lived in Montgomery up until almost high school, during which time he settled on his career path. He attended Georgia Tech during the beginning of World War II.

As part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at Georgia Tech, Varnedoe was expecting to be deployed to the war front. Because of delays and grades suffering from waiting to be deployed, he decided to switch from the Navy to the Air Force to be immediately shipped out. Varnedoe was discharged after the war ended in 1945, and he went back to Georgia Tech in the fall of 1945 and received his degree in Electrical Engineering.

Varnedoe got his first job in Panama City, Florida and in 1952, he started work in Huntsville, Alabama in the Launching and Handling Lab, taking research out of the lab and adapting the for easy use by the military troops. While working in Huntsville, he worked on the Redstone and Jupiter Missiles. After the Jupiter program, NASA took over the projects and he ended up in the Astrionics Lab.


Varnedoe, William., performer, Bill Varnadoe (Space History Interviews). Youtube, Uploaded by UAHSalmonLibrary, 12 December 2006, Accessed 28 January 2019.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William W. Varnedoe, 2013.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Austin Swann
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America