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  Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007) (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007)
wickball
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From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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posted 05-03-2007 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wickball   Click Here to Email wickball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first and only astronaut I have ever met and I got his autograph on an Atlas model I built.

It was an honor.

Danno
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posted 05-03-2007 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I for one am not sad at all. Wally lived a VERY full, satisfying, and long life and made his mark on history. He had a great sense of humor and was an all around good guy. That is how I will quite fondly remember him.

Sad? No way, he lived a life many would envy. I am glad he was here while he was.

Way to go, Jolly Wally!

Jay
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posted 05-03-2007 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay   Click Here to Email Jay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure if I can add anything that has not been said. For those of us who grew up worshiping these guys, it is always a loss that is hard to explain to those who do not share a love of space history. As I sit here with tears in my eyes...I can only say thanks Wally for being such a vital part of a space program that I have followed my entire life.

Andy Scott
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posted 05-03-2007 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Scott   Click Here to Email Andy Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only just got the news over here...

Gutted...just gutted...

I never met the guy, but I always got the feeling I knew him personally... one of those unique men who got on with everybody, one of those guys who is just so down to Earth (and I make no apologies for the awful pun, it's what he would have wanted!).

You know what's weird... I got a copy of "The Real Space Cowboys" signed by Ed Buckbee and Wally himself only two days ago... A sad loss, but I know he wouldn't want us to grieve... so...

Wear the brightest, most colourful ties to work until the period of mourning is over... do something stupid... pull a Gotcha... it's what he would have wanted!

You know it makes sense!

RIP Wally Schirra... Godspeed!

randy
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From: West Jordan, Utah USA
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posted 05-03-2007 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the privelege of hearing him at the 2001 AHOF ceremony. I'll always cherish that memory.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
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posted 05-03-2007 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a message from Ed Buckbee:
Wally took his last flight. Remember this about Wally "Skyray" Schirra. Wally had a lot of boring simulations, rigorous tests, exciting flying and good times with all of us. Now he's up there in that big hanger in the sky, doing a lot of good flying. But before he went flying, he and Alan "Jose" Shepard pulled some really good gotchas. We miss him and we will be up there soon and try some of that flying ourselves.

"Levity is the lubricant of a crisis. We resort to jokes, pranks and good natured kidding to relieve tension, stress and boredom." - Wally Schirra

poolman18
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From: Ontario,Canada
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posted 05-03-2007 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tears in my eyes... thanks Wally

Ray Katz
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posted 05-03-2007 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never met him, but felt like I knew him. A whole bunch of my memorabilia are centered on Wally. His personality reminded us that, although astronauts were complete professionals, they are also wonderfully human.

He lived a good long life, but I'm shocked and saddened that he's gone.

RocketmanRob
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From: New York City USA
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posted 05-03-2007 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed Wally. Thanks for your service to our country.

Moonpaws
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posted 05-03-2007 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally signed a poem I wrote for him at the New Jersey show:

A veteran of flight, steadfast and tough,
A chosen man, who had the right stuff.
From Sigma 7 to 6 Gemini,
a mastery of Apollo, to honor those who died.
From '69 to '72, the men who flew were numbered few.
And for those who stirred the dust, you lead the way and gained their trust.
So when the "Gods" gathered to give their hurrah,
"who brought us the moon",
they declared "Wally Schirra".

FFrench
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posted 05-03-2007 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A statement from President Bush:
Laura and I are saddened by the death of Wally Schirra. Wally was a member of the Original Seven, our nation's first class of astronauts. "Jolly Wally," as he was affectionately known, was the fifth American to go into space and holds the distinction as the only astronaut to fly in each of NASA's pioneering space flight programs: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. His ventures into space furthered our understanding of manned space flight and helped pave the way for mankind's first journey to the Moon. Laura and I join Wally's family and friends and the NASA community in mourning the loss of an American hero.

Rizz
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posted 05-03-2007 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the laughs and smiles. Aloha...

freedom7
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posted 05-03-2007 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for freedom7   Click Here to Email freedom7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife left a message for me this morning at work telling me Wally had died, what a shock.

I'm honored to have met Wally just a few months ago at an ASE fundraising event in the Bay area. He was just as I imagined him, jovial, smiling, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He autographed a picture for my baby daughter and then I couldn't resist asking him "Are you a Turtle" I'm sure he heard this a million times, but he obliged without a fuss. As there were a couple of little kids within earshot, he wrote out "YBYSAIA" on a hotel note pad and handed it to me with a wink. I'll treasure that little note and the short time I had with him.

Cheers, great Turtle!

Rick Boos
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From: Celina,Ohio U.S.A.
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posted 05-03-2007 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed my friend!

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-04-2007 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll treasure those moments, those puns and those conversations forever, and will miss the familiar cry of "Hey... it's Semi-Colon!" Godspeed, Skyray.

br62
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From: The Frozen Tundra
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posted 05-04-2007 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for br62   Click Here to Email br62     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally Schirra was truly the epitome of an American hero. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Wally on several occasions and have a number of special memories from our encounters that I will always treasure.

He was a great friend to all space enthusiasts and collectors. My deepest sympathies go out to the Schirra family.

Good bye Imperial Potentate. May God bless.

DC Giants
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From: Kansas City, MO USA
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posted 05-04-2007 12:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DC Giants   Click Here to Email DC Giants     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I met Wally briefly after he gave a speech in Hutcheson KS. He was gracious and witty and was very nice about signing an autograph and having his picture taken with me. I greatly respected Wally and I will miss him.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 05-04-2007 12:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I liked the subtle and thoughtful addition on Scott Carpenter's website:

"Somewhere up there, right about now, Wally is asking the angels not to sing 'Yellow Bird.' "

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 05-04-2007 01:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will always remember you Wally.

manilajim
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From: Bergenfield, NJ USA
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posted 05-04-2007 02:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He was the best turtle I've ever known...

God bless you and may He watch over your family. You are greatly missed.

chappy
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From: Cardiff, S. Wales, UK
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 05-04-2007 04:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm saddened to hear the news of Walter Schirra, who passed away aged 84... he's one of the most respected astronauts and I wish to pass my deepest sympathy to Walter's family.

Also it's induction day for 3 former astronauts to be inducted into the hall of fame tomorrow. It is going to be a mixed feeling for these former astronauts tomorrow.
Walter is one of the 'right stuff' people who paved the way for the people top explore the mystery of space.

Rest in peace, Walter

Obviousman
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From: NSW, Australia
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posted 05-04-2007 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vale Wally.

"Are you a turtle?"

cspg
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posted 05-04-2007 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could someone be kind enough to explain to me what is this thing with being a turtle? Meaning and where it comes from. I've seen it on cS before but I don't get it. Thanks.

leslie
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posted 05-04-2007 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I consider myself fortunate to have met Wally Schirra.

I am saddened by this news and send my respects to his family.

cspg
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posted 05-04-2007 04:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Could someone be kind enough to explain to me what is this thing with being a turtle?
See: Gotcha's and Turtles

ABDUL
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posted 05-04-2007 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ABDUL   Click Here to Email ABDUL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GREAT LOSS

tncmaxq
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From: New Haven, CT USA
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posted 05-04-2007 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am so glad I had the honor of meeting him at the autograph show in DC in 2003. He was the last surviving member of the Original 7 I met. I have 5 of their signatures on my cherished press kit cover, along with 10 of the men who walked on the Moon, and many others.

Have any funeral or memorial arrangements been announced? I wondered if perhaps he was to be buried at Arlington Cemetery. I would consider going, if there were a public ceremony.

oldpara
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posted 05-04-2007 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oldpara   Click Here to Email oldpara     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We all need to follow the news closely in the next few days. I have a strong feeling that in his last will and testament, Wally has planned a final "GOTCHA" for someone. YBYSA he did!!!

As to an earlier post, when Wally finishes with him, St Peter WILL be a Turtle...

Blue Skies, Wally. We miss you.

RISPACE
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From: Warwick, RI USA
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posted 05-04-2007 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RISPACE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was such a great guy. After reading about him over the years and learning about his career with NASA, I finally had the pleasure of meeting him at a UACC show in August of 2005. He was everything I expected; professional, kind, witty, and a genuine pleasure to talk to.

My thoughts are with him and his family and friends.

cklofas
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posted 05-04-2007 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cklofas   Click Here to Email cklofas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A great man who clearly enjoyed what he did. He always had a ready smile and was as interested in your stories as you were in his. Fair winds and following seas, Wally.

nelyubov
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posted 05-04-2007 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nelyubov   Click Here to Email nelyubov     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am deeply saddened by the death of Captain Schirra but also "peeved". The reason: Wally did not live to be presented with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor which I believe he so richly deserved.

He flys a "textbook" mission with Sigma 7 at a time when spaceflight was new.

He saves the Gemini 6A rocket by staying cool during the shutdown and then flys the first redezvous mission.

He then flys another textbook flight of Apollo 7 after the Apollo 1 fire.

If that does not warrant a Space Medal of Honor -- then what does? No disrespect to Bill Shepherd or Shannon Lucid but their achievements for the Space Medal of Honor just don't match up to Wally.

Let's hope that he will at least be given one posthumously some day.

irish guy
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From: Kerry Ireland
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 05-04-2007 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
God speed Wally.

A great American.I too am honoured to have met him in 2001.We will all remember him this weekend.

pterodactyl
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posted 05-04-2007 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pterodactyl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Wally,

We'll wear our black armbands for awhile and then get back to finishing the job you started all those years ago.

Keep an even strain old friend.

FFrench
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posted 05-04-2007 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
San Diego newspaper coverage:

MarylandSpace
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posted 05-04-2007 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the privilege of meeting Captain Schirra several times. Memorable.

I am wearing my Hawaiian shirt today to work in his honor. Several students asked me about my shirt today.

I am also thinking about the AHOF I am missing this weekend. I would have probably worn my Hawaiian shirt instead of a suit. We all miss you Wally.

SCE to AUX
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From: Anytown USA
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posted 05-04-2007 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SCE to AUX     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hometown newspaper coverage from the Bergen Record of Hackensack, NJ:

Also, nice Bergen Record reprint from May 9, 1992:

collocation
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posted 05-04-2007 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If this has been covered before, I apologize. On youtube if you enter Schirra Actifed you will see an orginal and up-date Actifed commerical

rocketJoe
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posted 05-04-2007 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rocketJoe   Click Here to Email rocketJoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wearing a Hawaiian shirt with pride (and sadness). I feel very fortunate to have met him.

A true American hero.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 05-04-2007 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally's web site has had over 750,000 hits in the 24 hours since his death was announced by the media. That is quite a testament to the man [and quite a testament to my index finger holding up from hitting the reboot button].

Wally and I had started working on a new video a few weeks ago. A prototype had been developed, which Wally loved. We were supposed to discuss it further at KSC next month and move the project along. However, it will never get beyond the prototype stage. At the urging of Francis French, I've posted the prototype on Wally's home page. The server is still taking some major hits, so if the video tends to run slowly or stop, that's the reason.

MB
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From: Olmsted Falls, Ohio U.S.A.
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-04-2007 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MB   Click Here to Email MB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally, may the sky rise up to meet you and may fair winds be at your back. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palms of His hands.

I would like to second Marks' recommendation that Wally receive the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, both for three incredable flights but also for all he did for promoting the space program after he retired. Godspeed.


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