Virgil "Gus" Grissom
Born April 3, 1926 in Mitchell,
Indiana. Gus earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from
Purdue University. Grissom and his wife, Betty More Grissom, have two
children, Scott and Mark.
Lieutenant Colonel Grissom was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts
selected by NASA in 1959. He piloted the "Liberty Bell
7" spacecraft, the second suborbital Mercury test flight, on July 21,
1961. On March 23, 1965 Grissom served as command pilot on the first manned Gemini flight,
a three-orbit mission. He subsequently served as backup command pilot for Gemini 6, and he was chosen to
serve as command pilot for the first three-manned Apollo flight, Apollo 1.
Grissom had flown 100 combat missions with the 334th
Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Korea and earned both the Air
Medal with cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During a countdown simulation of the Apollo 1 mission, a flash fire consumed
Virgil "Gus" Grissom made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in service
to the nation and the space program on January 27, 1967 at 40 years of age.