Thursday, December 08, 2016

RIP John Glenn

John Glenn, fighter pilot, astronaut, U S Senator, and Presidential Candidate is dead at 95. I first saw him when he was a winner on the game show "Name that Tune." His wingman in Korea, he said, was the best fighter pilot ever. That wingman, Ted Williams, also was a pretty good hitter in baseball - the best ever. Nice story here:

NEW CONCORD — Seventy-five years ago, John Glenn headed to Brown Chapel on the Muskingum College campus.

It was a special occasion: Annie Castor, Glenn’s high-school sweetheart — whom he would marry two years later — was performing her senior organ recital.

But before the concert, Glenn heard the news on the radio. It was no longer just a day made special by Castor’s senior recital, but one that would live in infamy. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, and a few days later, Glenn volunteered for flight training. He would go on to fly 149 combat missions as a Marine fighter pilot in World War II and Korea.

Earlier today, the oak pews in the chapel where Glenn listened to Castor’s recital were filled for a university service to commemorate that day — the beginning of the couple’s 75 years of service — as well as the more than 30 Muskingum students who served in World War II but never made it home.

“Seventy-five years ago yesterday, in this space, God spoke and John and Annie listened,” said the Rev. William Mullins. “For in this spot, the eternal, nagging question of who shall we be and what shall we do was so beautifully answered, so steadfastly pursued, so unwaveringly sought — this son and daughter of New Concord set out that day to love, to inspire and to serve.”

The commemoration Thursday was held just before word got out that Glenn, who had been hospitalized this week, had died at age 95.

“It’s a particularly poignant moment today as we honor Sen. and Mrs. Glenn, at a particularly personally challenging time for them,” said Muskingum University President Susan Hasseler. “We are holding them close right now in our thoughts and prayers.”

As a Marine Corps pilot, Glenn broke the transcontinental-flight speed record before becoming in 1962 the first American to orbit the Earth and, 36 years later at age 77 in 1998, the oldest man in space as a member of the seven-astronaut crew of the shuttle Discovery.

Glenn’s journeys into space sandwiched his time as a public servant. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974 and served four terms, and he ran an unsuccessful campaign for president in 1984.