DEATH OF JOHN H. GLENN, JR., RETIRED MARINE AND U.S. SENATOR
Date Signed: 12/9/2016
ALMARS Number: 039/16
R 091946Z DEC 16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/DEATH OF JOHN H. GLENN, JR., RETIRED MARINE AND U.S. SENATOR//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Colonel John Herschel Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. A true American hero, Colonel Glenn fought in both World War II and Korea, was the first American to orbit the earth, and served as a United States Senator from Ohio for 24 years. Colonel Glenn passed away on December 8, 2016.
2. Colonel Glenn was born on July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. After high school, he attended Muskingum College in New Concord and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in March 1942 and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1943. After advanced training, he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 155 and spent a year flying F-4U fighters in the Marshall Islands.
3. During his World War II service, he flew 59 combat missions. After the war, he was a member of Marine Fighter Squadron 218 on the North China patrol and served on Guam. From June 1948 to December 1950, Colonel Glenn was an instructor in advanced flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas. He then attended Amphibious Warfare Training at Quantico, Virginia. In Korea, he flew 63 combat missions with Marine Fighter Squadron 311. As an exchange pilot with the Air Force, Colonel Glenn flew 27 combat missions in the F-86 Sabrejet. In the last nine days of fighting in Korea, Colonel Glenn downed three enemy MIG fighters in combat along the Yalu River.
4. After Korea, Colonel Glenn attended Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduation, he was project officer on a number of aircraft. He was assigned to the Fighter Design Branch of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (now Bureau of Naval Weapons) in Washington from November 1956 to April 1959, during which time he also attended the University of Maryland.
5. In July 1957, while project officer of the F8U Crusader, Colonel Glenn set a transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York, spanning the country in 3 hours and 23 minutes. This was the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed. Colonel Glenn has nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, with approximately 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.
6. Colonel Glenn was assigned to the NASA Space Task Group at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, in April 1959 after his selection as a Project Mercury Astronaut. The Space Task Group was moved to Houston and became part of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in 1962.
7. On February 20, 1962, Colonel Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Launched from Cape Canaveral (later re-named Cape Kennedy), Florida, he completed a successful three-orbit mission around the earth, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 162 statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Colonel Glenn's "Friendship 7" Mercury spacecraft landed approximately 800 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island. Mission duration from launch to impact was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds.
8. Prior to his first flight, Colonel Glenn had served as backup pilot for Astronauts Alan Shepard and Virgil (Gus) Grissom. When astronauts were given special assignments to ensure pilot input into the design and development of spacecraft, Colonel Glenn specialized in cockpit layout and control functioning, including some of the early designs for the Apollo Project. Colonel Glenn resigned from the Manned Spacecraft Center on January 16, 1964. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in October 1964 and retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1965.
9. Colonel Glenn returned to space on 29 October 1998 as a Payload Specialist on Discovery’s STS-95 mission, becoming, at age 77, the oldest person to go into space. The nine-day mission served a number of scientific purposes where the crew supported a variety of research payloads including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, and investigations on space flight and the aging process. The mission was accomplished in 134 Earth orbits, traveling 3.6 million miles in 213 hours and 44 minutes. At the end of this mission, Colonel Glenn had logged a total of 218 hours in space.
10. In addition to his accomplishments as a Marine Corps Aviator and Astronaut, Colonel Glenn was a business executive from 1965 until his election to the United States Senate in November 1974. He served 24 years in the United States Senate representing the state of Ohio. Senator Glenn retired from the Unites States Senate in January 1999.
11. The recipient of numerous honors and awards following his first historic flight, Colonel Glenn was awarded the first Alfred A. Cunningham Trophy as Marine Aviator of the Year in November 1962 upon the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Marine Corps Aviation; the Robert J. Collier Trophy, jointly awarded him and his fellow Project mercury astronauts, by President Kennedy in a White House ceremony, October 10, 1963 – the trophy, awarded annually since 1912, is presented for the greatest American achievement in aeronautics or astronautics; the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal in April 1962 – its 21st recipient since it was originally presented to Admiral Robert N. Peary in 1906 for his explorations and discovery of the North Pole; and the Freedoms Foundation’s highest honor, the George Washington Award, in February 1964; in addition to many other awards.
12. A complete list of Colonel Glenn’s medals and decorations includes: the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars and two Oak Leaf Clusters in lieu of second through fifth awards; the Air Medal with fifteen Gold Stars and two Oak Leaf Clusters in lieu of second through eighteenth awards; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Navy Unit Commendation (1952-53, Korea); NASA Distinguished Service Medal for first orbital flight; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the China Service Medal; the Navy Occupation Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Korea Service Medal with two bronze stars; the United Nations Service Medal; and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. He was also awarded the Navy Astronaut Wings and the Marine Corps Astronaut Insignia.
13. The Marine Corps has lost one of its legends. I ask all Marines to remember Colonel Glenn and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Marines today serve with a spirit of tenacity, courage, and innovation because of the legacy and pioneering spirit of Marines like Colonel John Glenn.
14. Pending the Glenn family’s decision, public viewing, memorial service, funeral arrangements and burial will be announced in the following days. Condolence letters may be sent to the Glenn Family at: Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., (C/O The Glenn Family), 1 Miranova Place, Apartment 1925, Columbus, OH, 43215-5083.
15. Upon publication of this message and in honor of Colonel Glenn’s service as a U.S. Marine, all Marine Corps Bases, Stations, and Installations will lower the National Ensign to half-staff until sunset on the day of interment, or until otherwise directed.
16. Semper Fidelis, Robert B. Neller, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//