Father and son, Al and Tim Koster, join Dr. Bunny to discuss Al’s remarkable life. During this 3 part interview you will be inspired, fascinated and uplifted by Al’s journey – from fighting in 2 wars and living through the depression, to building the first rocket fuel plant for the United States and being the man Tim and his brothers call their guiding light. A truly wonderful and touching interview.
About Allen Koster:
May 26, 1922, Allen Koster was born to Carl John Koster and Helen Francis Welsh Koster. Oldest of four boys.
Lived in Lakewood, Ohio.
Depression Era & High School: Delivered newspapers, worked as a bagger, then a checker in a grocery store.
Father started as a secretary, became manager at Alcoa Aluminum where they cast
most airplane engines and propellers for the war effort.
1939 & 1940: Earned military training certificates from the U.S. Army Citizens Military Training
Camp at Fort Benjamin, Indiana.
July 1939 and July 1940: Qualified as Marksman with .30 Cal. 1907 rifle. Trained as machine gunner. Experience led to decision to join Navy.
1943: Graduated Case Institute of Applied Science (later known as the Case Institute of Technology, subsequently Case Western Reserve University) as a Mechanical Engineer
January 1944: Accepted as a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
April 1944: appointed as Ensign
May 1944: Submarine chaser school in Miami
August 1944: Reported to San Francisco as an Ensign on the Destroyer Escort Lovering
12/12/44: Crossed equator “A sortie into the realm of equtorius, being an epitome of the trials
and tribulations of imprudent pollywogs poaching in the Domain of Neptune.”
1944-45 Duty on submarine chaser Lovering, promoted to Lt. jg
July 1945: Lovering sent back to Long Beach for refitting, war ends. Married Carol Jean Woodruff (started dating in high school).
October 1945: Released from active duty as a Lieutenant with Navy, stayed on Reserve duty.
Started working for Stacey Dresser as a Project Engineer in Cleveland. Worked on
propane, butane, natural gas and chemical plants.
1947: Son Todd (Allen Thomas Koster, Jr.) born.
1948: Left for Standard Oil Co. of Ohio. Draftsman, engineer, project engineer.
1949: Son Tim Koster born.
1950: Recalled to active duty by the Navy. Sent to 20 weeks Air Control / CIC Officer School (Combat Information Center)
1950-1952: On destroyers in Korean War as Air Control / CIC Officer.
1952: Officer on Carrier Intrepid CV11 for journey from San Francisco to Virginia -Intrepid to be refitted.
1953: Returned to Standard Oil as a Project Engineer.
1954: Son Bart Koster born.
1956: Went to work with Westinghouse in Pittsburgh (per Tim, my memory is that he worked on the first Nuclear submarine)
1957: Offered position with Arthur G. McKee Co. in Cleveland. Project engineer on oil, gas, and chemical projects.
1957: Son Brian Koster born.
1959: Project manager for Hydrazine rocket fuel plant in Virginia for Olin Matheson. Given nine months to complete project. Brought it in on time and under budget. Plant was primary fuel supply for the U.S. space program and powered the Apollo missions to the moon.
1962: Sent to Paris to manage a project.
1964: Sent to Union New Jersey as head of the McKee NJ office (50 people). Moved to Summit, NJ.
1968: Sent to Italy as assistant manager of Italian engineering company CCTP purchased
1969: Sent to manage 100 man group in Paris.
1974: Returned to Cleveland to manage McKee engineering department (400 engineers)
1980: McKee purchased, decided to retire.
1981: Went to work for old friend Joe Laird in California “Hollywood Joe.” Managed
newspapers, mining operations, engineer for Laird Studios (formerly Selznick,
RKO, then Desilu), office in “Tara.” Earlier films “Gone with the Wind,” “King
Kong,” “Rebecca” and “Citizen Kane” were made. “E.T.” while I was there.
1982: Retired. Joe arrested, sent to jail for tax evasion.
1984-1991: Worked as engineering consultant in Ventura County area.