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Lot 304

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Walter Schirra Complete Set of His Flight Log Books, From Fighter Pilot to Space Program

A Complete Set of Wally Schirra official flight log books, meticulously maintained by him over more than two decades from his earliest days in training through his fabled career as a fighter pilot, a military test pilot, and one of the "Original Seven" American astronauts. The Clamshell dimensions are is 8" x 5.5" x 4", with each log book 4.5" x 7".

Five volumes (Jan 1947-Feb 1953; Mar 1953-Jan 1954; ("duplicate"); Mar 1953-Sep 1958; Oct 1958-May 1967; Jun 1967-June 1969). Original buckram bindings, each titled "Aviator's Flight Log Book," manuscript titles and labels on spines. Ephemera including photographs laid and tipped in. Evidence of handling. Printed log books filled out in manuscript and SIGNED by Schirra. 

Walter M. "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007), one of the original seven American astronauts, is an icon of the Space Age. Schirra was the only man of the original seven to fly in all three pioneering space programs - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

KOREA: Schirra graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1945. After war he trained as a pilot and joined a carrier fighter squadron, becoming the second naval aviator to log 1000 bonus hours in jet aircraft. He fought in the Korean War as an exchange pilot for the U.S. Air Force, flying 90 combat missions, mostly in F-84s. Credited with downing one Mig-15 and damaging two others, Schirra received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Korea.

TEST PILOT. After his tour in Korea Schirra served as a test pilot, testing weapons systems including the Sidewinder missile and the F7U-3 Cutlass jet fighter. Schirra  famously once evaded his own Sidewinder when it doubled back on his jet. He also helped evaluate the F-4 Phantom II fighter and other aircraft.

SPACE: In 1959 Schirra was one of the 110 military test pilots selected as candidates for NASA's Project Mercury. On April 2, 1959 he was named one of the original seven NASA astronauts. Schirra went on to become the first person to go into space three times. His celebrated career, in which he logged 295 hours and 15 minutes in space.

This run of flight log books, carefully annotated for more than twenty years, is the most intimate aviation memento imaginable of the fabled career of Wally Schirra, one of the giants of early space flight.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

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