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  Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007)
Gordon Reade
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posted 05-03-2007 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon Reade   Click Here to Email Gordon Reade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a sad day for all of us who love space.

garymilgrom
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posted 05-03-2007 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just read chapter 2 in Francis French's book about the early Mercury guys and how Wally was special to Dee last night and was thinking about how this guy was a real hero.

Thank you Commander Schirra for all you gave to our country.

ringo67
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posted 05-03-2007 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.

Cliff Lentz
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posted 05-03-2007 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, now there's only two.

I first talked to Wally at the Washington, DC autograph show a few years ago. He got a kick out of my collectSPACE "GOT SPACE" T-shirt. "We've got plenty of space, we're just not using it right!" he told me.

Godspeed.

space1
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posted 05-03-2007 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With fondest memories, godspeed to you, Wally.

My prayers for you and your family.

astro-nut
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posted 05-03-2007 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally Schirra was the very first astronaut I met in person. When I told him that I was at West Point Military Academy(as a deployment with the Army) and that I was a Gulf War veteran, He and I shared military stories. I saluted Wally and he returned and saluted me back. I will never forget that!! I thanked him for serving our country and he thanked me as well. He even signed photos and his books. A very pleasant man indeed. I will never forget my meeting with Wally Schirra. May God bless his family and Godspeed to Wally Schirra!

OV-105
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posted 05-03-2007 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was the first non shuttle Astronaut I got to meet. That was a fun night with a bunch of great storys of the early years. everyone there had copies of The Right Stuff for him to autograph. I had my copy of Schirra's Space. When he saw it he said "So your the one who bought this." We got to have a good laugh for a while after that. Wally you will be missed, Godspeed.

zee_aladdin
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posted 05-03-2007 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zee_aladdin   Click Here to Email zee_aladdin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was One of a Kind.

East-Frisian
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posted 05-03-2007 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RIP Wally. You were the next one, I will never met.

danpal
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posted 05-03-2007 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for danpal   Click Here to Email danpal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you a turtle? Godspeed Wally.

STEVE SMITH
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posted 05-03-2007 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
God Speed to a Hero, a patriot, a defender of his country, a great engineer, a great pilot, a devoted husband of must be going on 60 years, and a very funny guy who loved life and people. Thank you for risking your life to serve your country and the world.

If I may share some memories from visits at Cosmosphere:

  1. He spoke the day that Bush landed on the carrier in flight suit to state misson accomplished in Iraq. A true Navy man, but a true patriot, Wally said that he was so pround of the Army that he swore he would forego saying "Beat Army" for the rest of the year.

  2. During a Q&A, I mentioned fond memories of he and Walter Cronkite covering Apolo 13 (One of my prize possesions is a picture of him and Walter at the Mercury monument at Cape Kennedy. Walter signed it for me later at a Harry Truman event, and Wally signed it "Two Walters".) I mentioned that they had such credibility that if either had said that the sun wasn't going to come up, I wouldn't have bothered to get up the next morning. I thought he was going to come in the audience and kiss me. Everybody likes to be appreciated.

  3. Same night, I popped back stage to have him autograph my 1960 Post Slide Rule. As are many of the early Astronautrs, he had used a slide rule, and had great joy in removing it from it's scabbard and doing some calculations. He asked a nearby 10 year old boy if he knew what it was. The boy said "a ruler". Wally said, "let me tell you how this got us to the Moon" and he did.

  4. Another time, I somehow mentioned the stopping of Apollo and an LBJ remark that "the people are just going to piss this (Apollo) all away". He stopped and went serious and asked "where did you hear that?". Replied I didn't know. He went on that he, LBJ, and someone else were on the way to the NASA facility near New Orleans, and he was startled to hear LBJ say that.
As another patriot Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the memories".

tegwilym
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posted 05-03-2007 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.

Mike Z
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posted 05-03-2007 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Z   Click Here to Email Mike Z     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was one of my favorites. When I was a kid I thought he looked like John F. Kennedy. We built our oun Apollo spacecraft in our basement. We made believe we were astronauts I always wanted to be Shirra. My uncle who's business was to board up fires brought the wood and he cut it and I build the spacecraft. I also remember Wally Shirra and Walter Cronkite on CBS. Who could have been better during the Apollo 11 mission?

God BLESS WALTER SCHIRRA and his family!! We all will MISS YOU!!

fabfivefreddy
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posted 05-03-2007 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was shocked by the news. Truly a nice man and American hero. May God Bless him and his family.

WAWalsh
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posted 05-03-2007 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A sad day. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, he held a special place for me.

divemaster
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posted 05-03-2007 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me share a very personal story that I've never shared with more than one or two people.

During the Secaucus, NJ autograph show, Wally and I were talking about my wife's terminal cancer diagnosis. He said to me that we should get away and stay at his home in Kauai. After realizing that he was very serious and that this wasn't a gotcha, he said just to give him a call and he'd send me the keys to the house. We spent 10 wonderful days there in January of 2006. I wrote him several thank you notes to tell him how wonderful it was for him to do that. He e-mailed me one night and said "Will you please stop thanking me? It was my pleasure".

When my wife passed this past October, I received a very personal handwritten letter from Wally expressing his sympathy and talking about fate and the need to go on. It was from the heart and not just a "so sorry for your loss" note. It is truly a treasure.

This is a man who was a national hero, sat in the company of kings, queens and presidents. Saw things that most of us will never see, but he took the time to try to make our lives a little bit better during a very trying time and did his best to comfort a friend during my time of loss.

That's truly a great man. He will be missed.

Keep your feet dry, my friend. I will remember all the good times and will do my best to keep the memories and the dream alive.

bruce
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posted 05-03-2007 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Wally for your courage, your kindness and your great laugh. All will be deeply missed.

Frederic Janik
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posted 05-03-2007 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frederic Janik   Click Here to Email Frederic Janik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very very sad news - I am very fortunate to have met Wally in Dayton in 2003 and he lived up to his reputation as a very warm and friendly person.

Tracy: thanks for posting the story above.

Kevin Carrico
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posted 05-03-2007 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am watching the NASA Channel right now with Wally Schirra's Greatest Moments. He had a lot of them with Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. What an amazing life full of so many accomplishments. We love you Wally and Godspeed.

DChudwin
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posted 05-03-2007 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally Schirra was a "mensch."

He was smart, funny, friendly, and shrewd. He was a "people person" who seemed to enjoy his fame but not to take himseelf so seriously.

Wally was my hero when I was growing up.

I got to meet him at the UACC meetings in New Jersey and San Antonio and it was a dream come true. I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life as at the pre-dinner bar session in New Jersey in 2005. Wally, Bill Dana and others were in rare form as the funny stories and jokes poured out. The breakfast I had with Wally, Francis French and others in San Antonio last year was more sober but no less enjoyable.

Wally definitely was "sui generis." Rest in peace, Captain Schirra!

CJC
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posted 05-03-2007 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CJC   Click Here to Email CJC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.

Thanks Wally

Jurg Bolli
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posted 05-03-2007 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A sad day.

Moonmichael
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posted 05-03-2007 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonmichael   Click Here to Email Moonmichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed Wally Schirra.

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posted 05-03-2007 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bethpage02   Click Here to Email bethpage02     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RIP Commander Schirra,

Thanks for all your service to the US Space Program.
You are greatly missed already...

machbusterman
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posted 05-03-2007 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ALWAYS wanted to meet Wally Schirra (and Gordo Cooper). Anytime you saw him interviewed or photographed he appeared to live up to the "Jolly Wally" moniker. A true and very sad loss . My deepest sympathies to all that knew and loved him.

mjanovec
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posted 05-03-2007 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My sympathies to Wally's friends and family.

Hopefully, the first words Wally will hear when he gets to the pearly gates are: Wally, are you a turtle?

TRS
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posted 05-03-2007 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a man. What a loss to us all

Godspeed Wally - we will miss you, and we thank you for all that you meant to us.

Philip
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posted 05-03-2007 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very sad news indeed, it's also sad to realize that almost none of the early Mercury-Gemini-Apollo astronauts will see mankind back on the Moon in their lifetime!

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posted 05-03-2007 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut   Click Here to Email FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed Mr. Schirra! Meeting him was one of the greatest moments of my life, something I will remember forever, and keep close to my heart.

BobbyA
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posted 05-03-2007 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobbyA   Click Here to Email BobbyA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet him. He is a legend.

Dwight
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posted 05-03-2007 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
R:I:P Wally. You were the first astronaut I ever met, and no question was too much for you. I will remember you fondly.

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posted 05-03-2007 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for herman   Click Here to Email herman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have not met Wally but he was a huge help to me with my dissertation topic within the last year. We had several lengthy telephone interviews and he agreed to provide a "running commentary," of his CBS/Apollo 11 launch-day broadcast this summer in June. Wally was a class-act and he will always be my favorite astronaut. My hearts and prayers are to the Schirra family.

Mike Isbell
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posted 05-03-2007 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I first met Capt. Schirra at a banquet in 1987. I saw him last November at the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. I found him to be a very enjoyable person to talk with. Godspeed and good tailwinds Capt. Schirra.

David Stephenson
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posted 05-03-2007 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Stephenson   Click Here to Email David Stephenson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another space hero gone but never forgotten.

7 Forty7
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posted 05-03-2007 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 7 Forty7   Click Here to Email 7 Forty7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RIP Wally

Bookman1975
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posted 05-03-2007 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bookman1975   Click Here to Email Bookman1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the priviledge of seeing him at the Burbank, New Jersey, and San Antonio shows. In a room filled with people who possesed big personalities, Schirra stood out.

jasonelam
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posted 05-03-2007 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
America has lost a great hero. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. I bet Gus, Al, Gordo and Deke have a good gotcha ready for him up there. Godspeed and Good Tailwinds!

hinkler
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posted 05-03-2007 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed Wally Schirra.

carmelo
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posted 05-03-2007 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is a very sad news. Very, very sad. Godspeed Wally. And thanks.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-03-2007 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fair winds, indeed Skipper!

All of us here at the former Rockwell-Downey Facility will miss him a lot. Capt. Wally was the nicest gentleman amongst the Original 7.

Only three weeks ago Wally 'crashed' the luncheon for the retirees of North American Rockwell. After all the grief and pains he caused these folks 40 years ago, he was welcomed as a friend, as he did what he did so the spacecraft would be SAFE. And after Apollo 1, thats what everyone wanted.

A friend put it the best this morning:

"Everyone in Heaven benefited from Wally's arrival as Saint Peter at the pearly gates was heard to say, 'No, Wally, I am not a turtle!'"

Thanks for the memories Mr. Schirra, thanks for everything!


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