"I've got a fire in the cockpit!"ÃÂ"ÃÂ¦ We're burning up!"ÃÂ That was the last words out of this man. His name was Gus Grissom; he was an astronaut who lost his life doing what he loved. It's believed that the Apollo Program may have never made it to the moon without the loss of their lives.
Virgil "Gus"ÃÂ Grissom was born April 3, 1926 in Mitchell, Indiana. He was son of Dennis and Cecile Grissom. He had two brothers and one sister. After graduating from high school, he married Betty Moore on July 6, 1945.
Once they were married, Gus worked for a company that built school buses.
He soon realized that this was not for him, so he decided to go to Purdue University. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Afterwards, he joined the Air Force and was awarded his wings in 1951. His main duty was a fighter pilot.
His first assignment was duty in the Korean War. He flew in a total of 100 combat missions. For his skill in battle, the aviator was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two air medals. Once the war was over and he was released, he spent several years as an Air Force Flight Instructor. Betty Grissom said, "He told me that Korea was safer than teaching cadets how to fly."ÃÂ In 1955 he attained the rank of captain and was sent to test-pilot school at Edwards Air Force base. He completed the school in May of 1957. Afterwards he became a fighter test pilot at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. When the United States was worried that the U.S.S.R. might gain world power because of the satellite that they sent up in space. The United States and U.S.S.R. began in a space...