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  Gemini G2-C pressure suit (training) CWO Laine

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Author Topic:   Gemini G2-C pressure suit (training) CWO Laine
Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-22-2015 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps you all can assist me in my quest. My father, CWO Charles O. Laine, worked for the 6511th Test Parachute group in El Centro California in the early 60s and did some work with the Gemini program's personnel recovery system (NASA).

Please see the attached photos. Can his space suit be located? I know it was custom made for him by (David Clark).

I have found CWO Mitchell B. Kanowski's and Marcum's. I would appreciate any assistance you could give.

My goal is to donate numerous photos to the facility that has this suit and to also share the story of the man in the suit. I have looked in all the obvious places and museums and have contacted many experts in this field but came up empty. If you know of a G2-C display somewhere please advise. Should read Laine on the right chest. Thanks for any assistance you can give. — William J. Laine

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-22-2015 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

DG27
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Posts: 152
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 10-22-2015 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The name Laine on a spacesuit sounds familiar. Let me see what info I have on it.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-23-2015 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks DG27! Anything you do would be greatly appreciated. Be well.

DG27
Member

Posts: 152
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 10-23-2015 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I found it.

The Gemini suit your father wore is serial #2 (G2C-2).

When I saw it, the suit was in storage at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center, which is now the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

I photographed the suit during a photographic inventory I performed in 1989 and 1991 of suits in storage. The name Laine stuck in my mind since it was not an astronaut's name.

I presume the suit is still there, although during the Save America's Treasures project all Smithsonian owned suits were brought back to the Smithsonian for protection and preservation. I believe this suit is mostly likely owned by the USSRC, so it should be still be in Huntsville.

Management of the collections at the USSRC has changed and I am not sure if they have the inventory catalog I provided them at the time. So they may not know they have the suit. Now that you know the serial number they should be able to find it.

It's not the best quality photo but should help them locate the suit.

The NASA vector patch is missing and the name tag on the front of the suit is faded but still readable. After the jump program was over, it appears the suit was modified to test liquid cooling in the suit by the addition of the two aircraft AN fittings on the lower abdomen of the suit. I have seen this modification on another Gemini suit as well.

The brown areas on the suit are where the aluminum coating has degraded, exposing the brown plastic coating which was applied on the fabric in preparation for the aluminization.

I did not check the glove to see if was the correct serial number glove, and I do not know the location of the helmet. I will check and see if the helmet is in another archive.

In the material that you have, are the names of the other parachutists identified?

Hope this helps.

stsmithva
Member

Posts: 1905
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 10-23-2015 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DG27:
Okay, I found it.
Incredible!

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-23-2015 11:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DG27:
Okay, I found it.
Outstanding! Thank you DG27! On behalf of the Laine family and our extended families, Thank you very much! Wow!

(I do have the names of the other men in the picture and will post soon. Thanks again!)

DG27
Member

Posts: 152
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 10-24-2015 01:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are welcome. Glad to have helped.

When I saw the name Laine on the suit I assumed he was either a NASA or McDonnell engineer. The fact that he helped prove out the Gemini escape system by parachuting in the suit is very cool.

I am looking forward to hearing about your father and his work on our space program.

Also, thank you for reaching out. It is always exciting to learn something new.

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 3934
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 10-24-2015 06:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This whole exercise is a perfect illustration of the collectSpace community at it's best. Great going guys!

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-24-2015 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are the names of the five men pictured in the previous photo as requested.

SprocketCur
Member

Posts: 12
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 10-26-2015 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SprocketCur   Click Here to Email SprocketCur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good morning everyone! Thanks to all of you for helping Mr. Laine. Thanks to Robert reaching out to me on Twitter and a phone call with Bill, I will be checking our suit inventory to see if we still have it in our collection. I believe we do, but I always like to put eyes on it to make sure.

lspooz
Member

Posts: 357
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 10-26-2015 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, cS at it's best, and now another new member/museum contact....

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-26-2015 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1294
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-26-2015 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you have your father's log books? Could you copy them?

SprocketCur
Member

Posts: 12
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 10-26-2015 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SprocketCur   Click Here to Email SprocketCur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The suit has been located and verified. It's in our storage area.

The two pics below were taken today, by me.

Primary tag inside back of neck ring:

Leather name strip on chest:

(Contrast enhanced to show lettering.)

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-26-2015 10:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lou Chinal:
Do you have your father's log books?
We are in possession of my Father's jump log but only during his time at Wright Patterson AFB. We are still trying to locate his log with the Gemini Program at El Centro, California (6511th Test Parachute). Is there anything specifically that you are interested in. Please advise. Thanks!

DG27
Member

Posts: 152
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 10-27-2015 03:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DG27     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SprocketCur:
The suit has been located and verified. It's in our storage area.
Are you able to read the label in the glove?

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1294
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-28-2015 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious. I think we all live vicariously though the adventures of past pioneers. I started jumping in 1966. I finally hung it up in 2004. I accumulated about 6 hours of freefall time.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 10-28-2015 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lou, that is incredible! Six hours of free fall! Wow! Now I am curious. I will make it a point to track down my father's information. More information to follow.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 11-01-2015 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm having trouble locating my father's left glove and helmet. The glove should read "Laine" G-2C-2 and the helmet should be a G-2C. Again, I have checked the usual places with no luck. This could be a difficult task.

I am hoping that someone has seen a display somewhere and can pass the information back to me. My goal is to get the suit back together if possible and then for the USSRC or another appropriate site to create a display that will honor the men and women behind the men and women that made it all possible. Please advise. Be well.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 11-28-2015 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe this is also a stabilization suit used in HALO jumps and made by the David Clark Company in the early 60's. I believe it was either a Model "A" or an experimental suit. Can someone give me more information if possible? Thanks again.

(I am still looking for my father's left glove and helmet for his Gemini G-2C-2 suit. No luck yet but I will continue to try. Keep the faith! Be well.)

Matt T
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Posts: 1358
From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
Registered: May 2001

posted 11-28-2015 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Useful thread - fills in the gaps for me as I'm sitting here holding the G2C suit liner with 'Powers' on the name-tag, manufactured barely a week after your father's suit.

I was sold it with anecdotal information that it had been used by Gary Powers during his time as a test pilot after the U2 incident; SSGT William E. Powers look like a far more likely fit. I'd located Kowalski and the parachute tests in relation to the G2C suit previously but this is the first time I've seen Powers — the missing puzzle piece.

Good luck finding the glove and helmet.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 11-28-2015 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is outstanding! Can you post some pictures of the liner on this website. We have managed to locate all but Fulgham's suit. This is a great website and all have been very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Be well.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 03-31-2016 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This week my wife and I were finally able to visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to see my father's Gemini G-2C-2 pressure suit. This was a very emotional but extremely educational experience for both of us. Words cannot describe how honored we were to finally see his suit in person.

This was all made possible by the collectSPACE community and on behalf of the Laine family we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outstanding work that you do. Special thanks to Dennis Gilliam of Orbital Outfitters and Ed Stewart, Curator of the USSRC for assisting us in our quest. It was a pleasure meeting these two gentlemen this week, both experts in their fields.

As stated before on the website, this is collectSPACE at it's finest! Thank you all for an outstanding experience. Be well. — William J. Laine

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 03-31-2016 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 07-19-2016 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is footage of the first live jump of the "Ballute" related to my father's spacesuit work and the Gemini escape system. I thought the community would be interested.

I am continuing my search for my father's helmet: GH-2C-Laine and gloves: G-2C-2. Any assistance the community could give would be greatly appreciated.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 08-22-2016 01:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a short video of one of my father's colleagues, SSGT William E. Powers Jr., participating in one of several live test jumps the five Jumpers from the 6511th Test Parachute Facility performed in the early 60's out of El Centro, California.

Note: SSGT Powers is in his Gemini G-2C pressure suit and is testing one of several versions of the Ballute before the final version of the Personnel Recovery System was approved for the Gemini Space Program.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 12-06-2016 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the collectSPACE community would like to see these videos:
  • High Altitude Gemini Personnel Parachute test: CWO Laine
  • Debrief on the ground after the jump with Deke Slayton and Gene Cernan

Philip
Member

Posts: 5795
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-07-2016 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb, thanks for sharing!

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 02-23-2017 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this photo that I believe are Gemini GG-2C gloves. I was wondering if anyone here knows where this photo was taken?

I would love to research this further. Please advise. Thanks!

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 02-23-2017 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was just shared with me that the photo was taken at the Exhibition COSMOS in Bratislava (October 2016). I am very interested in what the inside labels read. Will do more research and share with the community. Be well.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 03-07-2017 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update: Both gloves are located at the Cosmos Discovery World Exhibition. Right glove is Gemini GG-2C-23. Left is Gemini GG-2C-30. I'm still looking for GG-2C-2. The search continues!

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 12-21-2017 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two more photos of my father's work testing the Gemini escape system (Ballute).

Cover of Aviation Week (4/6/64) and one of several test jumps of the Ballute.

oly
Member

Posts: 647
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 07-15-2018 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are some timeline details of the Gemini Ballute testing within this document.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 07-19-2018 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Oly. Very interesting material here.

oly
Member

Posts: 647
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 07-22-2018 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is also some Gemini Ballute and ejection seat footage here.

Wlaine
Member

Posts: 30
From: San Diego, CA. USA
Registered: Oct 2015

posted 11-29-2018 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wlaine   Click Here to Email Wlaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting to see that CWO Mitch Kanowski’s Gemini G-2C-4 pressure suit just sold at the Sotheby’s auction for $162,500. He was one of the five test jumpers out of the 6511th test parachute group in El Centro, Ca that did the high altitude work testing the suit and the Ballute.

I was very young but remember him well. I have great memories and am very proud of the work these five men did for the Gemini program.

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