NOTSNIK Videotape and Hiroshima Photographs
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Premselaar, S. Joel, 1920-
bulk Circa early 1946
Physical Description:
0.06 Cubic feet
This collection consists of two groups of material from United States Navy pilot S. Joel Premselaar (b. 1920); the first group contains predominantly aerial and ground photographs of Ground Zero at Hiroshima, Japan, taken by Premselaar in early 1946; the second group consists primarily of one VHS videotape reproducing films from 1958-1962 documenting Project Pilot (NOTSNIK, NOTS-EV-1), Project Caleb (NOTS-EV-2), and Satellite Interceptor Project (SIP) rockets.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is divided into two series. Series 1 consists of 44 different photographic images taken in Japan in early 1946 by the donor, appearing in a variety of formats (original 4 x 5 inch negatives, 35 mm copy negatives, original 4 x 5 inch prints, modern 4 x 6 inch copy prints, and color inkjet digital copy prints). Images include 35 aerial or ground views of Hiroshima at Ground Zero, three aerial views of Yokohama, four views of an unidentified Japanese man, and two aerial views of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Series 2 (circa 1958-1962) consists of one VHS videotape reproducing films documenting Project Pilot (NOTSNIK, NOTS-EV-1), Project Caleb (NOTS-EV-2), and Satellite Interceptor Project (SIP) rockets; and one 8 x 10 inch digital black and white copy photograph of a US Navy Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray (BuNo. 130745) assigned to China Lake.

Materials in this collection are grouped by subject into two series; materials within each series are grouped by format.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
S. Joel Premselaar (b. 1920) learned to fly at Flushing Airport, New York at the age of 13. At 17 Premselaar joined the Navy, and during World War II he flew 65 different types of aircraft, primarily attack aircraft for logistical support. Premselaar was also the photography officer for his ship, the USS Iowa. Following the end of the war, the USS Iowa spent January to March 1946 stationed in Tokyo Bay as the flagship of the Fifth Fleet. As part of his duties, Premselaar took aerial photographs of Tokyo, Yokohama, and Hiroshima, and ground photographs of Hiroshima at Ground Zero showing damage caused by the atomic bomb. After returning to the United States, Premselaar continued flying for the Navy as a test pilot stationed at the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, California, where in 1958 he took part in Project Pilot (later nicknamed "NOTSNIK"), an attempt to create an air-launched satellite launch vehicle. Premselaar piloted a modified Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray which was used to air-launch the five-stage NOTS-EV-1 Pilot rocket into orbit, with a Naval Observation Television Satellite as the intended payload. After his retirement from the Navy in 1959, Premselaar continued in aviation and worked as a consultant for Lockheed and then for Boeing in cockpit design. He then worked for an avionics lab for the United States Air Force before starting his own aviation business. Premselaar is now retired.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
S. Joel Premselaar, Gift, 2003

The original film footage is held at China Lake, California.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
NOTSNIK Videotape and Hiroshima Photographs, Accession 2003-0022, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Rockets (Aeronautics) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Naval Observation Television Satellite Project Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945 Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1940-1950 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Videotapes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aerial Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151