Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Walter “Wally” Marty Schirra Jr.

  • Joined the Navy shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and earned his Naval Aviator wings in 1948
  • Flew in over 90 combat missions during the Korean War.
  • Participated in the development of the Sidewinder missile, an anti-aircraft missile that had an infrared sensor which enabled it to seek out the engine of an enemy plane and then fly up its tailpipe and explode.
  • Selected as Commander of NASA’s Mercury program with the goal to orbit a one-man spacecraft and measure its pilot’s reactions and abilities during flight.
  • Launched on the third U.S. Orbital flight on October 3, 1962 in the Mercury-Atlas 8 spacecraft named “Sigma 7” and demonstrated the feasibility of long-range space flights.
  • Awarded the Collier Trophy in 1962 with his team for their work on manned spaceflight.
  • Worked on the two-man Gemini program and participated in the first rendezvous between two manned spacecraft on Gemini 6-A.
  • Participated in the Apollo 7 mission with Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham (enshrined 2018). The mission was extremely successful due to the use of a camera that permitted daily transmissions from the spacecraft.
  • Received the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Air Medals, and the Harmon Trophy.

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