White, Edward Higgins, II, Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
2865-Experimental Test Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1965-1967, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Service Years
1952 - 1967
Officer Collar Insignia
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

32 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember White, Edward Higgins, II, Lt Col.

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Contact Info
Home Town
San Antonio, Texas
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jan 26, 1967
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 18, Row G, Grave 80

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Astronaut Hall of FameIn the Line of Duty
  1993, United States Astronaut Hall of Fame
  2016, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
"On January 27, 1967, the three astronauts took their positions in the Apollo 204 command module for a 'plugs out test' of the spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center. Hours into a long and difficult day, the crew had yet to conduct the emergency egress procedure. This called for Ed White, who was in superb physical condition, to push the heavy escape hatch open, allowing for a quick exit from the spacecraft. At 6:31 PM, after the test had begun, Chaffee radioed that there was a fire in the cockpit, fueled by the pure oxygen in the cabin. White struggled to open the hatch doors, but was unable to do so before succumbing to the flames and smoke.

Lieutenant Colonel Edward White, Roger B. Chaffee and Virgil 'Gus' Grissom died on January 26, 1967, in the flash fire at Launch Pad 34-A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. White was buried with full military honors at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. He and his crewmates were posthumously awarded Congressional Space Medals of Honor." Source: International Space Hall of Fame, New Mexico Museum of Space History, http://www.nmspacemuseum.org
Other Comments:
Edward Higgins White, II was born in San Antonio, Texas, son of Edward H. White and Mary R. Haller. His father was a career Air Force Officer (who retired as a Major General), so the family moved with his father's Air Force assignments. Edward experienced his first taste of flying early in life when his father took him up in a T-6. He graduated from Western High School at Washington D.C. As did his father and uncle before him, Edward White, II graduated from the U.S. Military Academy (1952) and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1952, accomplished his flight training in Florida and Texas, and served 3 1/2 years as a fighter pilot in Germany before returning to the U.S. in 1958. Taking advantage of the AF Institute of Technology Program, he entered the University of Michigan and earned his Master of Science degree. He then graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School. At Wright-Patterson AFB he was an experimental test pilot unitl NASA selected him as an Astronaut in 1962. On June 3, 1965 he was a pilot on Gemini IV launched at the Kennedy Space Center. During the mission he became the first person to use jet propulsion to maneuver during EVA, and the "First American to Walk in Space." Because of his accomplishments with the Gemini Program, he was named senior pilot to the first three-man Apollo (AS-204 Mission) flight in 1966. Sources: National Aviation Hall of Fame, http://www.nationalaviation.org, Edward Higgins White, II, http://history.nasa.gov/Apollo204/white.html and International Space Hall of Fame, New Mexico Museum of Space History, http://www.nmspacemuseum.org
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Astronaut (Senior)

 Unit Assignments
School AssignmentsAir Force Bases/ Installations22nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron36th Fighter Wing
Air Force Test Pilot SchoolAeronautical Systems DivisionNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  1952-1953, Primary Flight School
  1953-1954, James Connally Air Force Base
  1954-1958, 22nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron
  1954-1958, 36th Fighter Wing
  1959-1959, Air Force Test Pilot School
  1959-1962, Aeronautical Systems Division
  1962-1965, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  1965-1967, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military AcademyUniversity of Michigan-Ann ArborUniversity of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  1948-1952, United States Military Academy
  1958-1959, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  1965-1965, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-86 Sabre  F-100 Super Sabre  
  1954-1958, F-86 Sabre
  1954-1958, F-100 Super Sabre
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