The first ever publication detailing the Navy's role in manned spacecraft recovery starting in 1961 and continuing into 1975, from Alan Shepard's initial sub-orbital mission to the Apollo-Soyuz flight which inaugurated the first space collaboration between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
"Splashdown, NASA and The Navy" takes the reader through a detailed explanation of how recovery forces, on land, sea, and in the air, were developed and deployed across the globe to be trained and ready for any and all emergencies and eventualities.
The book gives concise histories of all prime recovery ships as well as the back-up ships which stepped in, on several occasions, to successfully perform recoveries when the designated prime carriers could not.
Every ships history is followed by an equally concise re-telling of the space missions themselves. Mission patches are also included for the ships, the manned missions and the helicopter squadrons.
For the first time in any hardcover publication - a complete list of EVERY ship involved, not just in the manned missions, but the unmanned missions as well. This listing is broken down into Atlantic and Pacific fleets and all ships (236 different vessels) are identified as to type carrier, destroyer, oiler, etc.
A tidy accounting of behind-the-scenes activities which didn't make the headlines but underline the need to relax and unwind during an extended sea tour all the while perfecting the primary mission -- the successful recovery of all the nation's men in space.
The Navy's ships, men and aircraft stepped in time and time again to play their vital role in the space program and just as often, returned to their regular assignments and deployments with little or no fanfare. Now their side of the story is told.
About the Author:
Don Blair was born and raised in New Jersey but, after a two year Army hitch, began a nearly 50 year career in radio and television in 1955, commuting from homes in southern Connecticut. From 1965 to 1989 he worked for all four radio networks in New York City, writing and delivering an estimated 25,000 newscast during that period. His 1969 world-wide reporting from the USS Hornet, during the Apollo 11 splashdown, was one of the largest radio audience of all times. He remains involved in broadcasting, freelance writing and producing television shows, from his home on the Central Florida gulf coast.