John L Winton

      Lead Instructor-&                   (Supervisor-briefly)

John served in the U.S. Navy with the Occupation Forces in Japan, and with the Seventh Fleet during the Korean conflict.

Prior to joining North American, John was employed by Hughes Aircraft Company of Culver City, California, where he served as a Field Engineering Representative with the USAF 30th Air Defense Command. He was assigned to work with the 343rd Fighter Group for several years and was commended by the Air Force for his service. His duties included instruction and maintenance assistance to USAF technicians and pilots on the weapons control system in the F-106 Fighter/Interceptor.

John had previous experience on these types of systems as a technical representative at Norton AFB in California, Kelly AFB in Texas, and Lockheed Air Service in California. 


He joined North American Aviation in 1963 and was initially assigned to present Apollo spacecraft systems familiarization briefings. He prepared and presented courses on the "Carry On" Ground Support Equipment (GSE) used in the checkout & acceptance testing of the Apollo Command and Service Modules. He also conducted "Common Usage" GSE equipment courses for Grumman Aircraft engineering and test personnel who were assigned to checkout and perform acceptance testing of the Lunar Module (LEM) at Bethpage, NY.

John presented these courses to North American Rockwell and NASA engineering and test personnel at the manufacturing facility in California, and at the launch complex in Florida.

He was later assigned to conduct courses on the Apollo Telecommunications and Stabilization and Control Subsystems of the Apollo for Astronauts and NASA Flight Controllers.

John worked with the training team, under the direction of Astronaut General Tom Stafford, to brief the Russian Cosmonauts in preparation for the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

He coordinated the development of programmed instruction textbooks for the NASA Flight Control unit.


John was Lead Instructor of the Apollo Electronics Systems Training Group and served as Supervisor of the Training Department later in the program.

During this time, he co-authored a technical paper on the 'Ground Checkout of the Apollo CSM Systems', to be presented at a Space Congress meeting of the American Institute of Avionics & Astronautics (AIAA) in 1967 at Cocoa Beach, FL.

He was   a member of the National Management Association (NMA) and active in this capacity at the North American Rockwell Space Chapter. He was elected to the office of Secretary of the Space Chapter, and later as Vice President.  As VP, he prepared a management-training curriculum for the general membership, consisting of 1200 personnel.   He also conducted management development seminars for the Southern California Area Council of the National Management Association  

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            Awards and Commendations:  

Outstanding Performance Award for presenting 1000 hours of Apollo instruction. presented by Astronauts Tom Stafford, John Young, and Gordon Cooper.

Letter of commendation from Astronaut Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13.

Letter of commendation from the Apollo Astronaut group.

The Astronaut Personal Achievement Award (Snoopy pin) presented by Astronaut Al Worden.

NASA Award for Service.

 During his service with the National Management Association he was commended by the President of the Board of Directors of the Space Chapter for his participation in conducting a Management Development Seminar for the Western Division of the NMA (1974) at the Jolly Roger Inn near Disneyland, in Anaheim California.

 Commendation by the USAF Air Defense Command for services performed as a field engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company on the weapons control system of the F106.

This service gave foundation and experience for a later assignment with Rockwell International in working with the NASA as a contractor representative in their training department at NASA JSC in Houston, and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) launch complex in Florida. 

John hails from the southeastern US, living and attending school in the beautiful hill country communities of central Tennessee, and the Tennessee Valley in Alabama.

His technical training began in the United States Navy and continued in engineering and technical schools in Southern California. His permanent residence was in Orange County California during most of his career in Aerospace.  He now resides near where he grew up in the Tennessee Valley.

His retirement activities include gardening and maintaining his modest retirement home near the Tennessee River.  John’s interests are mainly in the area of communications media, with a special interest in computer science and early web publishing.  He is the publisher of this site with the dedicated support of several team members. 

Current hobbies include vintage boat restoration, with occasional cruising and fishing on the river near Pickwick Lake, and participating (as health & time permit) as a member of the Institute of Learning in Retirement (ILR) at the University of North Alabama (UNA).

He is also a licensed Amateur Radioman, (K6TKS), although inactive for several years. John, as well as several other members of the training team, credit Amateur Radio for launching their interests and career in the field of electronics.