Gus Grissom

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Virgil Ivan Grissom, widely noted as Gus Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American to fly in space and the first person to fly in space twice. Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at the Kennedy Space Center. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.


Family and background

Grissom was born in Mitchell, Indiana on April 3, 1926, the second child of Dennis and Cecile King Grissom.[1] His father was a signalman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and his mother a homemaker. His older sister died shortly before his birth, and he was followed by three younger siblings, Wilma, Norman and Lowell.[2] As a child he attended the local Church of Christ where he remained a lifelong member and joined the Boy Scouts' Troop 46. He was enrolled in public elementary schools and went on to attend Mitchell High School. Grissom met and befriended Betty Lavonne Moore at school through their extracurricular activities.[3] He worked delivering newspapers for the Indianapolis Star and in a local meat market for his first jobs.[4]

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