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Thread: Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

  1. #1

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    Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

    Got an email in with this wee bio on him...

    Neil Armstrong is dead at 82. He was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio and was of Scottish descent. When he was two, his father took him to the Cleveland Air Races and at six, he had his first ride in a Ford tri-motor often called the “Tin Goose.” At the age of 15 Armstrong had earned his flight certificate. He was an Eagle Scout and when he was on his way to the moon he sent greetings to all his fellow Scouts.

    His naval career started on January 26, 1949, when he reported to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida for flight training. Two weeks after his 20th birthday he was a fully qualified naval aviator. Armstrong attended Purdue University with a GPA that rose and fell. He was awarded a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1965 and in 1970 a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering.

    He first saw action in the Korean War. While making a low level bombing run at 350 mph, Armstrong collided with something at a height of about 20 feet which tore off parts of the right wing on his Panther aircraft. He flew the plane back to South Korea but the only option was to eject from the aircraft. He flew 78 missions over Korea and received the Air Metal for the first 20 combat missions. After 20 more missions he received a gold star and the Korean Service Metal. He left the Navy at the age of 22 and became an officer in the United States Naval Reserve. He also returned to Purdue where finished his education and also wrote and directed a musical.

    At Purdue he met Janet Elizabeth Sheron and they were married at the Congregational Church in Wilmette, Illinois. (She was a graduate of New Trier High School.) The couple had three children. One daughter, Karen, died on January 28, 1962.

    Armstrong next became a test pilot which led to several adventures that could have taken his life. He flew the X15 to a height of 207,000 feet and a top speed of 4,000 mph. During his career as a test pilot he flew more than 200 different models of aircraft.

    He will always be remembered for his voyage to the moon in Apollo 11. The object of Apollo was to land safely on a particular spot. When Armstrong saw that they were in danger of missing their landing area he took manual control of the module and found a safe spot for landing. Many of us remember the landing on July 20, 1969 and the first words to Mission Control, “Houston, the Eagle has landed.” When his left boot touched the surface of the moon Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    In 1972 Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, Scotland, which is the seat of Clan Armstrong. He declared the town to be his home. The Justice of the Peace read an unrepealed law which required him to hang any Armstrong found in the town. The law was 400 years old.

    “My pleasure is not only that this is the land of Johnnie Armstrong, rather that my pleasure is knowing that this is my hometown and in the genuine feeling that I have among the hills, these people” (Four hundred years earlier in the days of Johnnie Armstrong, the clan could put 3,000 men on the battlefield, each with the name of Armstrong.)

    The astronaut came to Chicago on August 13, 1969 for a giant parade down Michigan Ave. More than a million people lined the streets and 100,000 jammed Civic Center Plaza for the official welcome. There have been numerous stories that he carried a swatch of Armstrong tartan with him on the Apollo 11 mission but this has never been confirmed and is probably not true.

    American has lost another quiet, unassuming hero.

    Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
    www.chicagoscots.net

    Alastair

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  3. #2

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

    He might have been related to me Alastair. My great grandmother was an Armstrong. :-)

    Elda

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

    Well make sure you don't visit Langholm then Elda!!! <grin>

    Alastair

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, Scottish Astronaut

    Being that I live not that distant from Cincinnati, Ohio, I've heard many good & great things about Neil over the years. He served as a professor at U. of Cincinnati for several years. He lived in Indian Hill, a suburb (which was quite an expensive area). No one who really knew him could say anything bad about him. They all say that he was a quiet man, with a good sense of humor. Also he shunned the celebrity that his trip to the moon afforded him. What I found endearing about him was his smile.

    I lived in Virginia, close to the original NASA, before it was moved to Houston area, & saw most of the early-on space astronauts, usually in parades. My father was provost marshal at Langley AFB near to Hampton, VA, & Alan Shepherd had a Thunderbird, going too fast on the base, one of my dad's AP's (I think) gave Alan a ticket.

    A great man has passed on to the spaces in the sky.

    Sincerely, Joan

    PS: One of my sons attended Purdue U., one graduated from Purdue U., & I used to work for Purdue U. here in the county, teaching nutrition, etc., to disadvantaged families.

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