The first panel on the monument. It reads:
Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, Lt. Col., USAF, was chosen by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration in April, 1959, after many months of
screening and testing the nation's best military test pilots, to be one of the
Original Seven astronauts.
Born in Mitchell, Indiana, April 3, 1926, he attended the Riley Elementary School, formerly
located on this site. Gus enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in
November, 1943; he was not inducted into the service until August, 1944, after
his graduation from Mitchell High School. With the end of World War II, he was
discharged, November, 1945, with the rank of corporal.
Strictly speaking, Grissom was a captain in the USAF when he was chosen as a
Mercury astronaut by NASA. He was promoted to the rank of major after his Mercury flight, and to lieutenant
colonel in the wake of his Gemini 3 flight.