Space Cover #87, X-Plane Pilot and Apollo 16?
Can you name the X-plane pilot that had a non-astronaut role in the Apollo program? X-15 pilots Neil Armstrong and Joe Engle went on to become NASA astronauts. What is not well know is that X-2 pilot Frank "Pete" Everest was involved in the USAF recovery efforts in the final Apollo missions.
Pete Everest assumed command of the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) of the Military Airlift Command, at Scott AFB, Illinois in April 1970. The ARRS provided support aircraft during both the launch and the splashdown phases of space missions. Space cover collectors can find many covers that have been flown by the ARRS crews and documented for the missions. The command of the ARRS, as stated earlier, is located at Scott AFB and was among the ARRS sites listed in the tracking station address list kindly updated and distributed to tracking station collectors by Bob Ekas. For Apollo 16 collectors who sent covers to Scott AFB asking that they be flown aboard an aircraft in support of the Apollo 16 mission got quite a surprise when they were returned after being flown aboard a HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant helicopter in support of the launch by none other than Pete Everest himself. Interestingly the cover was cancelled in Houston on April 28, 1972 - maybe - being commander of the ARRS he may have been in Houston for post mission review of support activities.
Pete Everest (1920-2004) became known as "the fastest man alive" when, as the first test pilot of the X-2, he flew the plane at Mach 2.97 (1,957 m.p.h.). Named Chief Air Force Test Pilot in 1951, he also flew the X-1, X-4, X-5 and a number of other experimental aircraft. He retired as a Brigadier General. Also the author of a 1958 autobiography, The Fastest Man Alive, Everett is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
This is the third Pete Everst flown Apollo 16 cover I've seen so if you find one...