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  Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007) (Page 7)

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007)
divemaster
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posted 05-26-2007 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boy, does that sound like Wally!

Spaceflyer
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posted 05-27-2007 03:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceflyer   Click Here to Email Spaceflyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About more than a week ago I put an obituary on my associations website and paid tribute to the life and the wonderful personality of Wally. I would like share it especially with our german readers.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
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posted 05-29-2007 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are some new photos on WallySchirra.Com on the new "tributes" page. Some of the photos from last year's UACC show in Texas are missing captions. If any of you can fill in the blanks, it would be appreciated.

As always, new content is always welcomed.

FFrench
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posted 05-30-2007 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see also that the condolence message from Tom Hanks, that was read at the second of Wally's services, is now also on that page.

Moonpaws
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posted 06-03-2007 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today I was packing for the autograph show and looking at my book Full Moon wishing I would have had Wally sign it. I had completely forgotten that Wally did indeed sign it in gold pen on a great picture of him in the Apollo 7 command module:

divemaster
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posted 06-04-2007 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dee O'Hara has added a wonderful couple of paragraphs to Wally's tribute page on his site.

I once mentioned to Wally how tired he looked in the photo in the above message. He replied "I was tired. And Walt cut the top of my head off".

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-04-2007 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
THAT is classic!

divemaster
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posted 06-05-2007 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A wonderful new tribute has been posted by "Uncle" Bill 'Jose Jimenz' Dana. The 8th out of a possible 7 Mercury astronaut.

Lou Chinal
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posted 06-08-2007 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the good fortune to meet Wally several times. He was a true gentleman who could drive, fly and laugh with the best of them.

FFrench
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posted 06-11-2007 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congress has passed H. Res. 446:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives-

(1) honors the life and accomplishments of Astronaut Walter Marty Schirra and expresses condolences on his passing; and

(2) recognizes the profound importance of Astronaut Schirra's record as a pioneer in space exploration and long-time contributor to NASA's mission as a catalyst to space exploration and scientific advancement in the United States.

Jake
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posted 06-11-2007 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You bet your sweet "Whereas".

FFrench
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posted 07-10-2007 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Wally Schirra tribute / memorial edition of the San Diego Air & Space Museum newsletter is now online here.

FFrench
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posted 12-30-2007 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A story in the San Diego paper today about those we lost in 2007, including a poignant photo of Scott Carpenter saying goodbye to Wally.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-10-2008 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally Schirra Memorial Endowment Scholarship

The San Diego Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation is working to establish a $150,000 endowment to award annually a $7,500 Wally Schirra Memorial Endowment Scholarship to an American graduate science scholar.

To this end, they have entered a PARADE Magazine competition for a $50,000 prize if they are able to secure the most donations -- not the most money, but the most individual contributors. If successful, these funds would go into the ARCS National Endowment Fund. A minimum donation of $10 is all that is needed. The contest ends on January 31.

[Banner removed now that contest is over.]

Jo Schirra was a member of their chapter for a few years and Wally introduced one of their Scientists of the Year several years ago.

divemaster
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posted 01-22-2008 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a reminder that the January 31st deadline for the $50,000 bonus from Parade Magazine for the Wally Schirra Foundation is quickly approaching. Feel free to make five $10 donations or ten $10 donations to help drive their numbers up. Your help could help them get the big brass ring.

It all comes down to the NUMBER of donations, not the total amount. Feel free to hit the Donate button in the above message.

divemaster
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posted 01-30-2008 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With a little over 24 hours to go in the Parade Magazine $50,000 add on, the Wally Schirra Endowment is currently sitting in 10th place. They have to be in the top four to be eligible for the $50K bonus.

As I said before, it's the NUMBER of the donation, not the amount. So hit the donation button in the message two before this one and kick in $10 [several times] for the cause.

One of the founders was interviewed this morning on Mark Larson's radio show. Great interview. Hopefully, people will queue up.

Remember, their total goal is to raise $150K for the endowment to give out as 20, $7500 scholarships in Wally's name. No begging and pleading once they hit the top number.

But the $50K from Parade Magazine would go a long way to help their goal.

stsmithva
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From: Centreville, VA, USA
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posted 01-30-2008 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd like to make a donation, but I just see a big blank space in the post where apparently I should see a button to click to donate. I went to the Scholarship website, but that had an address to mail donations, so it's not the Parade magazine contest.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-30-2008 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Try this direct this link to the endowment's banner.

bruce
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posted 01-30-2008 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just made a few donations in a row to The Wally Schirra Memorial Endowment via PayPal. It was real easy plus, I couldn't help but hear Wally telling stories and that great booming laugh of his the whole time I was on the website!

divemaster
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posted 01-30-2008 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can also go directly to this site and make the Parade magazine donation.

It's nice to see the numbers build for such a worthy cause.

And I'll double what Bruce said. I can still hear that booming laughter that has now been silenced.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-14-2008 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Navy release
Astronaut's Ashes Committed to the Sea During Ceremony Aboard Reagan

The ashes of retired Navy Capt. and astronaut Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, along with eight other Navy veterans, were committed to the sea Feb. 11 during a special burial at sea ceremony on board USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

Schirra, a former Navy test pilot who was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, died at the age of 84 on May 3, 2007. He holds the distinction of being the only astronaut to fly in each of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

Schirra, who also had special ties to Ronald Reagan shipmates, visited the aircraft carrier and signed autographs for the crew in 2005.

In 1962, Schirra became the fifth American in space and the third American to orbit the Earth, circling the globe six times in a flight that lasted more than nine hours.

Schirra once wrote, "We shared a common dream to test the limits of man's imagination and daring. Those early pioneering flights of Mercury, the performances of Gemini and the trips to the moon established us once and for all as what I like to call a spacefaring nation. Like England, Spain and Portugal crossing the seas in search of their nations' greatness, so we reached for the skies and ennobled our nation."

Ronald Reagan's command religious ministries department, along with help from the ship's honor guard, organized the morning ceremony.

"I'm in awe of these people in their commitment to their country, their service, and especially their families," said Cmdr. Lee Axtell, Ronald Reagan's command chaplain. "It's Navy tradition to stop for the day and pay tribute."

Ronald Reagan shipmates eagerly took time out of routine carrier operations to put on their service dress blue uniforms to take part in the ceremony.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher Gronde, a Ronald Reagan Sailor who was previously assigned to the presidential honor guard, said that despite all of the funerals he's take part in, each one still affects him deeply.

"I get this proud feeling about being up there," said Gronde. "I take a lot of pride in Navy tradition."

In addition to Schirra, some Ronald Reagan Sailors had other ties to the military veterans.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Scott Toupin, from Ronald Reagan's air department, committed the ashes of his uncle, Senior Chief Quartermaster William Dawson, to the sea during the ceremony.

Toupin said he was honored to give his uncle his final resting place and found himself moved by the ceremony and holding back tears.

"He never spoke to me about his time in the Navy," said Toupin recalling that his uncle was a quiet and reserved man. "He had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, but I didn't know he was in [the Navy] until three months before his death."

With the firing of three symbolic volleys for each of the nine Navy veterans, Ronald Reagan Sailors bid a final farewell to these former shipmates.

Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president; its motto, "Peace through Strength," was a recurring theme during the Reagan presidency.

ejectr
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posted 02-15-2008 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As an ex Navy man, please allow me:

To you Captain Schirra, sir.

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Amen.

FFrench
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posted 02-15-2008 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In today's free San Diego naval newspaper, the Navy Compass, the photo caption (also seen on the online version) says that the remains being held in the photo above are actually those of Wally himself, before he was committed to the ocean.

If there are friends of Wally here who would like a copy of the paper today, I can see if I can pick up some extra copies before they are gone.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
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posted 03-12-2008 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy Birthday, Wally.

A Laurel, and Hearty Handshake in your memory!

DKS22
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posted 03-15-2008 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DKS22   Click Here to Email DKS22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My sister and I agree that our favorite memory of Wally Schirra was of him telling the story of throwing plastic vomit on the seat of the spacecraft right before Wernher Von Braun's final "clean" inspection just hours before the launch Gemini 6. Tom Stafford was on the stool next to him. Jo Schirra was tending bar and Faye Stafford was in the kitchen behind them. By the time Wally finished his ribsplittiing reenactment of Von Braun discovering vomit on the final inspection, they were all laughing so hard they were crying. Von Braun was one of Wally's favorite targets because Von Braun reacted so and Wally loved doing Von Braun's strong german accent.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-06-2009 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
La Jolla Light: Late astronaut to be honored in ceremony
Late astronaut Wally Schirra will be honored with a memorial plaque presentation at Mount Soledad Memorial Association's Veterans Day Ceremony.

It will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans Memorial atop Soledad Mountain, 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South.

The only astronaut to fly in the first three American space programs - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo - Schirra's black granite plaque will join scores of others on the memorial walls. Plaques honor veterans from the Civil War to current conflicts in the Middle East, and include a picture of the veteran with a brief summary of their military experience.

...at the Nov. 7 veterans ceremony, Schirra's plaque will be unveiled with members of his family in attendance. Schirra, who died on May 3, 2007, will be commemorated by close friend Mark Larsen, a KCBQ radio talk show host.

andrewcli
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posted 11-08-2009 01:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So that's why it was crowded over there today? Need to take a walk over there tomorrow morning and have a look at it.

FFrench
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posted 11-15-2009 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A photo of the ceremony is posted here.

divemaster
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posted 03-10-2010 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy 87th birthday a few days early, Wally. We all miss you, what you did, and that contagious laughter.

AstroAutos
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posted 03-10-2010 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy Birthday, Wally!

dss65
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posted 03-10-2010 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm soooo glad I had the opportunity to meet you, Wally. Happy Birthday, and thanks for all that you've done. You'll always be a HERO to a whole lot of us.

KSCartist
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posted 03-11-2010 05:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy Birthday Wally -

Thanks for everything!

Aztecdoug
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posted 03-11-2010 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will always treasure the vision I have of Wally holding court at the hotel bar in Secaucus NJ back in 2005. Wally had his glass of Chardonnay in hand as he held the crowd captive with his stories. Thanks for the memories.

alanh_7
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posted 03-11-2010 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having started into the space collecting game only a few years ago, I cannot help but have some regret that I was unable to meet Wally Schirra in person. Some of my best memories of the moon program was of he and Walter Cronkite seated side by side while watching on tv.

At this past year's Astronaut Scholarship Foundation autograph show I had a very nice conversation with Dee O'Hara about Wally Schirra. I mentioned to her how much I regretted not having the chance to meet him. She told me that she was sure I would have enjoyed speaking with Wally, and it was obvious from the fond way she spoke of him how much she had enjoyed their friendship and how much she missed him.

dss65
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posted 03-11-2010 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally Schirra was the first astronaut I ever met. I was introduced to him by Dee O'Hara shortly after they had said hello to each other after an apparently long time of not seeing each other. I assure you that it was a moment I'll never forget. I'm sure your conversation with Dee about Wally was a very warm one.

DChudwin
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posted 03-12-2010 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
I will always treasure the vision I have of Wally holding court at the hotel bar in Secaucus NJ back in 2005. Wally had his glass of Chardonnay in hand as he held the crowd captive with his stories. Thanks for the memories.

I was there also. Wally was in rare form that day as he traded stories and jokes with Ed Buckbee and Bill Dana, along with a small group of collectors. I don't think I ever laughed so hard.

The last time I saw him was at the 2006 UACC show in San Diego. I was passing by as he and a group were starting breakfast. Francis French invited me to join them. As I sat down near Wally, he said to me, "Ah, the doctor!" I was surprised he remembered me. The group had another great conversation with him.

Wally had always been my favorite of the Mercury astronauts. While we remember him most for his great sense of humor, he was a great aviator, test pilot, and engineer. His Mercury flight MA-8 was the perfect one; he saved the day for Gemini 6 by not baling out when the engines shut down in the October, 1965 launch attempt; and he played a major part in the recovery effort on the Apollo spacecraft after the 1967 fire.

He was a true gentleman, full of life, laughter, and enthusiasm. Happy Birthday!


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