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Hispanic contribution to rocketry recalled

April 14, 2014 • Local News

Pablo Ornelas on the steps of a bank in Spur, Texas, in the 1930s. Ornelas was one of Robert Goddard’s “Don Quixotes” who helped build and launch rockets in Roswell in the 1930s. (Courtesy Photo)

When Dr. Robert H. Goddard was in New Mexico creating the era of rocketry that would usher in the Space Age, he had a little help — his Hispanic assistants referred to by Walter Winchell as “his Don Quixotes.”

Roswell resident Erinda Ornelas Vale wants the contribution of the Hispanic community to Goddard’s research remembered, and she wants to honor the men who helped Goddard as well as the famous professor when the city celebrates “Aiming For The Stars” in October.

Vale, 74, says she remembers hearing stories of her father, Pablo Ornelas, and her uncle, Tony Ornelas, and their work with Goddard in the 1930s.

“Many years ago as I watched the American astronauts step on the moon I heard Walter Winchell say, “if it were not Login to read more

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