Posted by: Waring Hills | 16 July 2009

Naval aviators in space!

Forty years ago today at 9:32 AM (EST) Apollo 11 launched from Pad 39A on its way to the moon. The mission commander was former naval aviator Neil Armstrong. Neil had honed his pilot skills by taking off and landing on Essex class carriers  from 1950 to 1952. Attached to VF-51 onboard the USS Essex (CV-9) Armstrong flew 78 combat missions in Korea and won three Air Medals for his skill and valor.

Neil Armstrong, naval aviator and first man on the moon!

Neil Armstrong, naval aviator and first man on the moon!

The first American in space was Alan Shepard, a naval aviator. The first American to orbit the earth was John Glenn, a naval aviator. The first commander of an Apollo flight was Walter Schirra, a naval aviator. Of the seven mission commanders selected to land on the moon, six were naval aviators and of the twelve men who walked on the moon, seven had earned their wings of gold.

USS Yorktown (CV-10) participated in the recovery of Apollo 8 in December 1968. Read more here…

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