The Astronaut/Cosmonaut Memorial Web Site
Charles Bassett II
Clifton Williams, Jr.
Stanley David Griggs
Manley Carter, Jr.
Patricia Hilliard Robertson
Born: 14 November 1930, in San Antonio, Texas.
Education: Received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1952; a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959; an honorary doctorate in astronautics from the University of Michigan in 1965.
Marital Status: Married the former Patricia E. Finegan.
Children: Edward III (born 15 September 1953) and Bonnie (15 May 1956).
Other Activities: His hobbies included squash, handball, swimming, golf, and photography. After graduating from West Point, Ed competed for s spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the 400 meter hurdles race. He missed making the team by only 1/10 second.
Professional Organizations: Member of Society of Experimental Test Pilots; associate member of Institute of Aerospace Sciences; member of Sigma Delta Psi (athletic honorary); and member of Tau Delta Pi (engineering honorary).
Special Honors: Awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Air Force Astronaut Wings, the Arnold Air Force Society JFK Trophy for 1966, the Air Force Systems Command Aerospace Primus Club Award, the General Thomas D. White United States Air Force Space Trophy for 1965, selected as one of the Five Outstanding Texans - 1965, one of Ten Outstanding Young Men of America - 1965, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Experience: Lt. Col. White received flight training in Florida and Texas following his graduation from West Point. He then spent 3 1/2 years in Germany with a fighter squadron, flying F-86s and F-100s. In 1959 he attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was later assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as an experimental test pilot with the Aeronautical Systems Division. His duties at Wright-Patterson included making flight tests for research and weapons systems development, writing technical engineering reports, and submitting recommendations for improvement in aircraft design and construction.
He logged over 4,236 hours flying time, including 3,046 hours in jet aircraft..
NASA Experience: Ed White was selected in the second group of astronauts on 17 September 1962. He served as pilot of Gemini 4, which was launched 3 June 1965. During this mission, he became the first American to perform an extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalk), lasting 23 minutes. He also became the first person to control himself on EVA with a hand-held maneuvering unit. This four day mission orbited Earth 62 times, and ended on 7 June 1965.
White was assigned to the Apollo 1 crew. On 27 January 1967, he and his two crewmates, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, lost their lives when a fire swept through their Apollo 1 spacecraft while conducting a test on the pad. The mission was scheduled for a 21 February launch on a 14 day Earth-orbit mission. It was over 1 1/2 years before any Americans flew into space. Ed is buried at West Point.
Quote: When asked how he was feeling during his Gemini 4 EVA, he replied, "Red, white and blue all over."
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