Moon landing memories: Dad’s source of pride

Note: We are running these memories of the moon landing sent by readers over the next several days.

Fifty years ago, I was a junior high school student who was excited that to watch the US land an astronaut on the moon. My father had been a pilot in WW2 and I had heard stories from my dad about flying with future astronaut John Glenn when he was in the news as part of the Mercury program. At the time my dad was working in New Mexico as a civilian pilot for the White Sands Missile range. He could not talk much about what he was doing but we knew he considered it important work. On the night of July 20, we all stayed up late to watch the moon landing with high expectations.

Once they successfully landed my dad got up and walked out of the room. He returned a few minutes later and proceeded to show us paperwork he had received regarding his involvement in testing and calibrating the guidance system for the lunar lander. This was a source of pride for him and our family throughout the remaining Apollo program and successive moon landings. As a result I focused my education toward a future career in Engineering.

John Dunlop

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