Topic: Apollo 7 CM tarp: Help identify Downey signees
posted 11-03-2012 01:48 PM
I have a family heirloom that I am planning to loan to the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
This item is a tarp that was attached to the Apollo 7 Command Module when it arrived at Cape Canaveral, FL from Downey, CA where it was built. The tarp had a short message, "Spacecraft 101, Because we care to send the very best" and the signatures of the people who designed and build it - a couple of hundred signatures or more.
Today I had a photographer from the Smithsonian photograph it. Tomorrow an appraiser looks it. In about a week, I fly down to Dallas to the Museum to discuss the loan and and if all works well deliver it to the Museum.
That takes care of the physical object, but the rest of the story is perhaps more important. History is about people.
I would like to to talk with anyone interested in forming or joining a virtual web team of history detectives to determine who the people who signed the tarp are or were and contact them or their survivors to let them know that this item will be displayed at the Museum. My initial approach is:
Spacecraft 101 - Apollo 7 was the Block II bird that rose like a Phoenix from the fire of the Apollo 1 tragedy to carry the Apollo program back into space. It remains an unsurpassed marvel of engineering, science, and human dedication. I don't believe that the story of the engineering and support team has been properly told. We could change that.
- Form a group of interested people
- Post the Picture and detail shots online
- Start crowd sourcing the info and share it with the Museum and online with anyone interested.
- Have someone volunteer to work with the Museum to be able to analyze some of the faded or very small signatures on-site.
- Locate and contact the signatories or their families and collect stories and encourage them to loan other Apollo 7 artifacts to the Museum to be displayed with the capsule.
A professional historian that I know has offered to reach out to NASA and the companies involved to see if they would be interested in helping. However, the success of a project like this would most like come from a host of passionate volunteers.
This is a chance to help capture some space history before it is lost forever.
Let me know if you are interested. Thoughts and recommendations welcome. Semper Fidelis — Jim
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999
posted 11-05-2012 07:05 PM
Here is a photo of Jim's Apollo 7 tarp — detail shots can be found at this Dropbox.
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010
posted 11-05-2012 07:28 PM
NASA photo 68-H-532 shows the Apollo 7 SM-101 arriving at the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip on the Super Guppy with a banner that also reads Spacecraft 101 "We care enough to send the very best" on the container.
posted 11-07-2012 05:33 PM
If the DropBox link appeared broken, try this.
Also, here is a first cut on most of what is on the tarp. Anyone want to help find out who these folks are and who might still be around?
Atkins, Lorman E.
ATO Pilot Group
Butt, Marshall: Good Luck
Clyde, R.: Received 5/17/68 1840
Cousins, Ray: Good Luck
D'Alessandro, Diane "yea September"
Davis, C.: Here is half of it
Eddins, Gerald O.
Finnay, John. D.
Healy, John P.
| ||Gentry, S.G.|
Kennedy, Don: Me to Driver
Loseman, Robert H.
Martin, Lloyd A.
May, Don L.
Osterhoudt, G. F.
Quilinne, Bob 'B.Q.'
Thompson, Harold J.
Varnen, Art, PhD
Washington, Margaret: Go Ga Ga
White, Ray Wilburn
Williams, Alfred L.
posted 11-14-2012 08:50 PM
Update - Arrived in Dallas yesterday and today I left the tarp and a worn Apollo Seven poster that my dad had tucked in it for a 120 day loan while th museum figures out if they can find space to exhibit it. They really like it though it is bigger than they thought.
The Museum is looking for someone to spring for or make a display case for the tarp as that is not in the museum's 2013 budget. What they need is 12' by 4' by 1" deep plexiglass or armor glass covered case that will allow folks to look closely at the signatures and impromptu artwork.
You can see the spot the museum director is thinking of placing the tarp here on Robert Pearlman's post. The spot is the first picture of the location under the stairs near the command module (there is a Skylab exercise bike).
Any have any ideas?
posted 11-14-2012 09:25 PM
quote: This appears to be the same tarp as it has written on it, "Received 5/17/68 - R. Clyde"
Originally posted by LM-12:
NASA photo 68-H-532 shows the Apollo 7 SM-101 arriving at the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip on the Super Guppy with a banner
Thanks for the lead. Did you see the capsule when it was in Canada?
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