posted 12-20-2018 04:32 PM
The July 27, 1969 Honolulu Star-Bulletin had some good coverage of Hornet's return to Pearl Harbor the previous day. Some odds and ends:
Hornet did pass the Arizona Memorial on the way in and the ship's company rendered a salute.
Commercial aircraft on approach to Honolulu International/Hickam AFB dipped their wings in salute as they flew over. There was also a flyover by military aircraft, ten of which flew in formation to spell out an "11."
Hornet moored at Pier Bravo.
Hawaii Gov. Burns and Admiral McCain (CINCPAC) delivered remarks during the welcome-home ceremony. McCain went to the podium, looked at the astronauts in the MQF, said something kind of salty (to the effect of "you're the darnedest thing I ever saw") then said "Oh...are we on television?"
Mike Collins cracked up the crowd by saying "Sorry we got delivered to you in a box!"
McCain, who loved cigars, presented the crewmembers with a gift-wrapped box each of his favorite cigars.
According to the account, the command module was taken to Ford Island for three days of examination, then flown to Houston.
Several leis were put aboard the C-141 as gifts for the astronauts' wives. A lei was also draped on the door handle to the MQF.
The ride to Hickam Operations was a three-mile route.
The 12-year-old who ran alongside the MQF was Glenn Holman, one of a dozen youngsters who ran alongside the MQF. Most of them faded off but Glenn ran most of the three miles, to the cheers of onlookers - and, once the astronauts saw what he was doing, they waved to him and encouraged him on. He finally accepted a ride from one of the escorting cars once they got to Hickam. Holman was the son of a Navy pilot who was air adviser to the commander of Pacific Fleet submarine forces.