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Author Topic:   Hornet Plus Three (Bob Fish)

Posts: 6210
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-26-2009 03:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hornet Plus Three: The Story of the Apollo 11 Recovery
by Bob Fish
Foreword by Richard Gordon, Gemini 11 & Apollo 12
Most of us know a lot about Apollo 11, the first time humans walked on the Moon. It started with heroic astronauts with the right stuff, teamed with NASA engineers who made the mission possible. We all recall the rocket arcing into the sky, the grainy black and white TV pictures of the first steps on the Moon, and the president greeting the astronauts on their return. What many don't know is how Columbia and the three astronauts were recovered after the mission. That took many U.S. Navy ships and planes and literally thousands of servicemen!

Hornet Plus Three: The Story of the Apollo 11 Recovery reviews the evolution of the DoD recovery process for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. Then, in fascinating detail, it provides new insights into the epic Apollo 11 operation that fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's national challenge to "put men on the Moon in this decade and bring them safely back to Earth." The book chronicles:

  • The various Navy and Air Force units that effected the recovery — most of whom had recently served combat tours in the Vietnam War.

  • The added complications of getting President Nixon aboard ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Coordinating the media so that 500 million people world-wide could watch on TV as the President welcomed the astronauts back to Earth.

  • The careful consideration and implementation of quarantine procedures to deal with "Moon germs."

  • The Primary Recovery Ship, USS Hornet, did such an extraordinary job, it was pressed into service four months later to recover Apollo 12.

  • Personal reflections from those who were there.

  • Never-before seen photographs.
You'll gain a new appreciation for the complexity of this aspect of the Apollo 11 mission!

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42981
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2009 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Danville Weekly: Danville man documents Apollo 11 splashdown
The USS Hornet Museum today announced the publication of "Hornet Plus Three," the first authoritative book on the Navy's support of America's race to the Moon, with great detail about the recovery of the epic Apollo 11 mission. This book was written by Danville resident Bob Fish, an Apollo curator and Hornet trustee.

The Apollo 11 recovery was the most difficult of all the NASA missions in the 1960s, said Fish, and the book contains a wealth of personal information from members of the "command element:" - the NASA and Navy recovery team leaders.

"I spent seven years researching the information, collecting photos and interviewing participants so it contains a lot of previously unpublished info," said Fish. "So much so, that Neil Armstrong wrote the initial cover blurb and Dick Gordon wrote the Foreword!"

Also, I have heard directly from Bob Fish, who shares the following:
Your readers might appreciate knowing that my book about the Apollo 11 splashdown and recovery, Hornet Plus Three, is available for purchase at this time via the USS Hornet Museum website. Profits from such a purchase help the museum maintain its world-renowned Apollo 11 recovery exhibit and expand its educational activities related to project Mercury, Gemini and Apollo recoveries.

I will also autograph any book purchased via the museum for those who express such an interest.


Posts: 729
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 06-17-2009 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received my copy (pre-ordered via this morning and was very eager to look through it. From my first examinations, it appears to be the best book I've yet found on spacecraft recovery operations. There are a lot of *really* interesting photographs I've never seen before, and I've been looking into the subject for more than two decades. From that standpoint alone, it's a treat.

It's not perfect, and there are a few errors that are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things (for one, a few of the photos captioned or implied as being from the Apollo 11 recovery are probably from the Apollo 12 deployment). This is more than made up for by the rare photos and the input from many participants, including some who have since passed away. If spacecraft recovery interests you at all, you really owe it to yourself to pick this book up.


Posts: 729
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 06-17-2009 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The more I look through the book, the more impressed I am. I'm seeing all kinds of things and reading stories I never knew about. There's even pictures showing the Mobile Quarantine Facilities under construction, too. Highly recommended.


Posts: 410
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 06-24-2009 04:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've got mine today and I can't agree more with the previous comments - I'm impressed with the rare photographs, there is even the President Nixon's prepared speech for the case of Apollo 11 disaster, detailed description of equipment, rescue units, key personnel, etc. Excellent tribute to that part of the mission support personnel and forces who are often "forgotten" or, maybe better to say, stay in the background of interest. Very nice and perfectly scheduled book!

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42981
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-14-2009 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Space Review: 3-2-1 splashdown! A review of Hornet Plus Three
Hornet Plus Three is the most detailed account of the recovery effort for the Apollo 11 mission ever written. Author Bob Fish, who is on the board of directors for the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California, has gathered a tremendous amount of information and a lot of photographs, many never published before, focusing on the recovery effort.


Posts: 5952
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 07-14-2009 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received mine today and wrote a mini-review:
Excellent book with 214 glossy pages describing the US Navy (and Air Force) preparations and efforts to recover NASA’s space missions from Mercury, Gemini to Apollo 11 and Apollo 12.
  • The Learning curve: Project Mercury and Project Gemini
  • DoD Apollo Mission Support: Apollo module recovery concept
  • Initial Apollo Flights: Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 recoveries
  • Earth Contamination Issues: Biological isolation garment and quarantine training
  • Primary recovery ships and aircraft., Primary Recovery force units and navigational aids for locating the Command Module
  • Pre-flight preparations and welcoming President Nixon on board
  • Apollo 11 splashdown and recovery and the return to Pearl Harbor
  • Appendixes with personal recollections by Neil Armstrong, Charles Smiley, Clancy Hathleberg, timelines and key speeches
A superb book with the most detailed account of NASA’s most important missions, illustrated with many color photos and maps with recovery locations in the Pacific Ocean. A must-have for everyone interested in the historic Apollo missions!

Fra Mauro

Posts: 1586
From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 02-20-2012 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Recently finished reading this book and I highly recommend it. It shows aspects of a neglected part of the Apollo saga.

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