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Credits
About the Author

Major Edward Galen Givens, Jr. (USAF)

 

Born: 5 January 1930, in Quanah, Texas.

Education: Attended Quanah High School, then a semester at Texas A&M and three semesters at the University of Oklahoma.  Appointed to US Naval Academy in 1946, graduated June 1952 with bachelor of science degree (the same year his younger brother Donald died in a Navy air training exercise at NAS Corpus Christi).   Graduated from USAF Experimental Fighter Test Pilot School (Class 58-B) in 1958, and from USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School (Group 3) in May 1963.

Marital Status: Married the former Ada Eva Muuss (died 1986).

Children: Cathrine, Ed Galen III, Diane.

Experience: Joined USAF after graduating from Annapolis in 1952.  Became flight instructor, then instructor in Stability and Control Section at Edwards AFB.   Helped set up USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards, and graduated as a military astronaut-designee in May 1963.  Prior to joining NASA's astronaut corps Givens worked at the USAF Space Systems Division in the Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center), aiding development of the Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU).

He logged 3,500 hours flying time including 2,800 hours in jet aircraft.

NASA Experience: Ed Givens was selected in Group 5 on 4 April 1966.  After initial training he elected to train as an Apollo Command Module Pilot, and was appointed to the Apollo 1 support crew with Ron Evans and Jack Swigert.  After the Apollo 1 fire, they performed the same role for the crew of Apollo 7.

On 5 June 1967, Ed Givens attended a meeting of the Quiet Birdmen (a fraternal organization of Air Force pilots and former officers) in Pearland, Texas.  He left early, but had offered two visiting Air Force reservists, Bill Hall and Francis Dellorto, a ride back to their quarters at Ellington AFB.  Missing the main turn-off due to heavy traffic and a rain-slicked road, he drove down a parallel dark side street and skidded at an unmarked road closure site.  His Volkswagen compact hit the grass verge, became airborne, and landed in a deep irrigation ditch.  Despite wearing a lap seatbelt he was thrown against the steering wheel and sustained internal injuries and a crushed chest.  His two passengers were also badly injured, though both would survive.  Ed Givens was pronounced dead on arrival at Houston's Baptist Memorial Hospital Southeast at 12:40am.

Quote: When he was asked if he saw himself as a modern-day hero he replied, "I'm not a hero. I've just got a job to do, and I try to do it to the best of my ability. This is the pinnacle of my career - it's probably the most interesting and challenging job that I can conceive of. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

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