Ernst Henry Krause, a nuclear physicist, aerospace executive and pioneer in space research, has died at his home in Newport Beach after a long illness. He was 76.
Krause, born in Milwaukee in 1913, earned his doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1938.
After doing secret research on the development of radar for the Naval Research Lab, he was sent to Germany to interrogate V-2 rocket scientists at the end of World War II. From 1947 to 1951, he played a role in the first atomic testing at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.
In 1954, Krause came to Southern California as director of the Lockheed Missile and Space Corp., but left in 1955 to start Systems Research Corp. in Newport Beach.
The company was acquired by the Ford Motor Co. in 1956, and eventually became Ford Aerospace, with Krause serving as vice president for research and development.
From 1959 to his retirement in 1978, Krause was senior vice president of development for the corporation in El Segundo where he worked on defense contracts, space re-entry systems and satellite communication systems.
He is survived by his wife, Betsy, four daughters, two step-children and eight grandchildren.