Founding Members

Remembering Carroll Evans: Member of the RRS in the 1940s and ‘50s has passed on…

Photo by Gary Babcock

Carroll Evans holds the Moonwatch telescope he used during pioneering efforts in the late 1950’s to track satellites from China Lake. Photo by Gary Babcock

One of the early members of the Reaction Research Society, Carroll L. Evans, Jr. died at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He was born on September 2, 1929 and died January 24, 2012 at the age of 82.

Evans joined the RRS in 1943 and became very active from 1946 through 1956 or early 1957. He received his degrees in physics and mathematics from UCLA, and, in February 1952, moved to the Ridgecrest area to work at the China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station, now known as the Naval Air Weapons Station. There, he worked as a physicist in the Instrument Development Division. His job included test support and data reduction.

Between 1952 and 1957, Carroll commuted to remain active in the Reaction Research Society. In 1946, he joined the RRS Board of Directors for several years and served as its secretary. In 1947, he was on the Constitution Committee and helped write that instrument with a few other executive board members. Evans served as President of the RRS in 1951 and 1954, as Vice President in 1952, and as Chairman of the Executive Council in 1955. In that same year he was also selected as a RRS representative to the American Astronautical Federation

Evans participated in many activities in the RRS among them were work parties; photography; writing articles for the RRS News; movie, magazine and book reviews; post-firing reports; and as editor of the RRS News. Carroll Evans also did all the drawings, charts and photography for the report, Development and Testing of a Hydrogen Peroxide Rocket authored by David Elliot and Lee Rosenthal.

After retiring, Evans became active as a volunteer in several Ridgecrest community organizations: the board of directors of the Desert Empire Fair, Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert, China Lake Astronomical Society, Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society, China Lake Photographic Society and City Hall Information Center. Among other constructions, he made a very popular display involving a Saber-tooth cat for the Maturango Museum.