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  Mercury 7 astronauts as pallbearers at funeral

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Author Topic:   Mercury 7 astronauts as pallbearers at funeral
328KF
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Registered: Apr 2008

posted 02-17-2014 11:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across this photo on the San Diego Air & Space Museum's flickr page among their Wally Schirra collection. Does anyone have any information about this funeral where the Mercury 7 astronauts all served as pallbearers? There was no information attached to the photo.

Joel Katzowitz
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Posts: 378
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 02-18-2014 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have no idea whose funeral it was but the photographer did a great job catching all 7 faces, especially Cooper who was in the back.

robsouth
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From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 02-18-2014 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it the funeral of Leo DeOrsey?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28904
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-18-2014 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob, that may be it. Page 277 of the book "Father Hartke: His Life and Legacy to the American Theater" by Mary Jo Santo Pietro and Gilbert Hartke includes:
...funeral of Leo DeOrsey, attorney for the original astronauts, who served as pall bearers at the funeral.
The date of the funeral is given as May 5, 1965 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

ColinBurgess
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From: Sydney, Australia
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posted 02-18-2014 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you Google Image a photo showing the front of the church, you'll see that Robert is quite correct - that is indeed the doorway to the church in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

328KF
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posted 02-19-2014 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great detective work gentlemen! Robert, how in the world did you come up with that reference?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-19-2014 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found it through Google Books, which is an excellent research tool.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2014 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the date when this occurred, I wonder how long it had been since the seven were together prior to the funeral?

Glenn had resigned from NASA in January 1964 and Carpenter was three months from diving to SEALAB II in August 1965.

Lou Chinal
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posted 02-19-2014 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll stick my neck and say the last time all seven were together was Oct. 10th 1963, at the White House.

mach3valkyrie
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Posts: 286
From: Albany, Oregon USA
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 02-19-2014 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm wondering if they were together again after that date, May 5, 1965. Cooper and Schirra still had their Gemini flights and it was a little more than a 1 1/2 years before we lost Gus Grissom.

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2155
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-19-2014 05:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A very poignant photograph. The Seven were truly a brotherhood. It is sad to know that only one of those pallbearers is still with us.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1628
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 02-19-2014 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All seven Mercury astronauts attended the funeral of Ted Freeman on 3 November 1964. As I noted in "Fallen Astronauts," it was the very last time every one of American astronauts was in the same place together.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2014 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
...come up with that reference?
As a postscript, I should note that a more topical and current reference is Marketing the Moon by our "own" David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek. On page 29 of the book (set to be released imminently), it is noted:
When DeOrsey died in 1965, the Mercury 7 astronauts were pall bearers at his funeral.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28904
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2014 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
...it was the very last time every one of American astronauts was in the same place together.
Just to be clear, by this you mean that all the astronauts chosen up to that date gathered in 1964, and not just the Mercury 7 (who would come together again the next year for DeOrsey's funeral), correct?

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1628
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 02-20-2014 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Correct, Rob. All 28 active astronauts were there, plus John Glenn (dressed in full Marine uniform) who had resigned from NASA in January of that year.

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