66 Facts About Gus Grissom


Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom was an American engineer, pilot in the United States Air Force, and member of the Mercury Seven selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration's as Project Mercury astronauts to be the first Americans in outer space.

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Gus Grissom was a Project Gemini and an Apollo program astronaut.

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Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space twice, preceded only by Joe Walker with his sub-orbital X-15 flights.

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Gus Grissom was a World War II and Korean War veteran, mechanical engineer, and USAF test pilot.

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Gus Grissom was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

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Gus Grissom reenlisted in the U S Air Force, earning his pilot's wings in 1951, and flew 100 combat missions during the Korean War.

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Gus Grissom attended the U S Air Force Institute of Technology for a year, earning a bachelor's degree in aeromechanics, and received his test pilot training at Edwards Air Force Base in California before his assignment as a test pilot at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

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Gus Grissom was picked up by recovery helicopters, but the blown hatch caused the craft to fill with water and sink.

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Gus Grissom was followed by three younger siblings: a sister, Wilma, and two brothers, Norman and Lowell.

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Gus Grissom received his nickname when his friend was reading his name on a scorecard upside down and misread "Griss" as "Gus".

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Gus Grissom joined the local Boy Scout Troop and earned the rank of Star Scout.

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Gus Grissom credited the Scouts for his love of hunting and fishing.

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Gus Grissom worked at a local meat market, a service station, and a clothing store in Mitchell.

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Gus Grissom wanted to play varsity basketball but he was too short.

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Gus Grissom's father encouraged him to find sports he was more suited for, and he joined the swimming team.

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Gus Grissom met and befriended Betty Lavonne Moore, his future wife, through their extracurricular activities in high school.

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Gus Grissom carried the American flag at the opening ceremonies of high school basketball games, while Moore played the drum in the high school band.

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Gus Grissom's father allowed him to use the family car, even though gasoline was rationed due to the war.

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Gus Grissom and his wife, Betty, had two sons: Scott, born in 1950, and Mark, born in 1953.

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World War II began while Gus Grissom was still in high school, but he was eager to join the military upon graduation.

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Gus Grissom was sent to Sheppard Field in Wichita Falls, Texas, for five weeks of basic flight training, and was later stationed at Brooks Field in San Antonio, Texas.

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In January 1945 Gus Grissom was assigned to Boca Raton Army Airfield in Florida.

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Gus Grissom was discharged from military service in November 1945, after the war had ended, and returned to Mitchell, where he took a job at Carpenter Body Works, a local bus manufacturing business.

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Gus Grissom was determined to make his career in aviation and attend college.

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Betty Gus Grissom joined her husband on campus during his second semester, and the couple settled into a small, one-bedroom apartment.

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Gus Grissom continued his studies at Purdue, worked part-time as a cook at a local restaurant, and took summer classes to finish college early, while his wife worked the night shift as a long-distance operator for the Indiana Bell Telephone Company to help pay for his schooling and their living expenses.

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Gus Grissom graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in February 1950.

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Gus Grissom was accepted into the Air Cadet Basic Training Program at Randolph Air Force Base in Universal City, Texas.

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In March 1951, Gus Grissom received his pilot wings and a commission as a second lieutenant.

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Gus Grissom flew one hundred combat missions during approximately six months of service in Korea, including multiple occasions when he broke up air raids from North Korean MiGs.

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Gus Grissom was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster for his military service in Korea.

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Gus Grissom returned to the United States to serve as a flight instructor at Bryan AFB in Bryan, Texas, where he was joined by his wife, Betty, and son, Scott.

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Gus Grissom soon learned that flight instructors faced their own set of on-the-job risks.

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Gus Grissom quickly climbed from the rear seat of the small aircraft to take over the controls and safely land it.

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Gus Grissom served as a test pilot assigned to the fighter branch.

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In 1959, Grissom received an official teletype message instructing him to report to an address in Washington, D C, wearing civilian clothes.

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The message was classified "Top Secret" and Gus Grissom was ordered not to discuss its contents with anyone.

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Gus Grissom was intrigued by the program, but knew that competition for the final spots would be fierce.

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Gus Grissom quickly exited through the open hatch and into the ocean.

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Gus Grissom explained that he had gotten ahead in the mission timeline and had removed the detonator cap, and pulled the safety pin.

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NASA officials concluded Gus Grissom had not necessarily initiated the firing of the explosive hatch, which would have required pressing a plunger that required five pounds of force to depress.

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Gus Grissom's spacecraft was recovered in 1999, but no further evidence was found that could conclusively explain how the explosive hatch release had occurred.

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Gus Grissom was one of the eight pilots of the NASA paraglider research vehicle .

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Problems with the simulator proved extremely annoying to Gus Grissom, who told a reporter the problems with Apollo 1 came "in bushelfuls" and that he was skeptical of its chances to complete its fourteen-day mission.

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Gus Grissom was interred at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, beside Roger Chaffee.

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Some contend that Gus Grissom could have been selected as one of the astronauts to walk on the Moon.

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NASA insisted Gus Grissom got authorization to use the spacesuit for a show and tell at his son's school in 1965 and never returned it, but some of Gus Grissom family members claimed the astronaut rescued the spacesuit from a scrap heap.

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Airport in Bedford, Indiana, where Grissom flew as a teenager was renamed Virgil I Grissom Municipal Airport in 1965.

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Gus Grissom's death forced the cancellation of a student project to design a flag to represent Grissom and their school, which would have flown on the mission.

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Gus Grissom was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his Mercury flight and was awarded it a second time for his role in Gemini 3.

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Gus Grissom's family received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978 from President Carter .

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Gus Grissom was granted an honorary doctorate from Florida Institute of Technology in 1962, the first-ever awarded by the university.

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Gus Grissom was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1981, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1987.

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Gus Grissom's name is included on the plaque left on the Moon with the Fallen Astronaut statue in 1971 by the crew of Apollo 15.

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The Gus Grissom Stakes is a thoroughbred horse race run in Indiana each fall; originally held at Hoosier Park in Anderson, it was moved to Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville in 2014.

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Gus Grissom Island is an artificial island off of Long Beach, California, created in 1966 for drilling oil .

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Gus Grissom is named with his Apollo 1 crewmates on the Space Mirror Memorial, which was dedicated in 1991.

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Gus Grissom used this name, plus two others for White and Chaffee, on his Apollo 1 mission planning star charts as a joke, and the succeeding Apollo astronauts kept using the names as a memorial.

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Gus Grissom crater is one of several located on the far side of the Moon named for Apollo astronauts.

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Virgil I Grissom Museum, dedicated in 1971 by Governor Edgar Whitcomb, is located just inside the entrance to Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, Indiana.

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Gus Grissom Hall, dedicated in 1968 at Purdue University, was the home of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics for several decades.

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Gus Grissom has been noted and remembered in many film and television productions.

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Gus Grissom was depicted by Fred Ward in the film The Right Stuff and in the film Apollo 13 by Steve Bernie.

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Gus Grissom was portrayed in the 1998 HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon by Mark Rolston.

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In 2016 Gus Grissom was included in the narrative of the movie Hidden Figures.

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When Gus Grissom died he was in the process of writing a book about Gemini.

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