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Lot
40091

Gus Grissom's Apollo 1 A1C Inflight Coverall Jacket and Trousers with David Clark Labels and NASA Patches and Nameplate, both ... (Total: 2 Items)

2012 November 2 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas #6082

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 2, 2012
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
Would have been worn by Commander Grissom during the Apollo 1 mission.
Gus Grissom's Apollo 1 A1C Inflight Coverall Jacket and Trousers with David Clark Labels and NASA Patches and Nameplate, both Originally from His Personal Collection. Two light blue cotton cloth garments, a jacket and a pair of trousers, each with zipper fronts, multiple pockets, and original labels with Grissom's name printed. These coverall garments were what Gus Grissom would have worn in the Apollo 1 spacecraft for comfort and easy mobility when wearing the bulky pressure suit wasn't indicated. Purchased by our consignor as Lot #18, part of the Grissom Collection offered at auction by Odyssey in February 1994. Details as follows:
Jacket:
A collarless lightweight short jacket featuring a zipper front and a banded bottom with a hook and clasp closure. The cloth tag sewn inside the neck reads as follows:
JACKET, INFLIGHT COVERALL
NASA Designation AC-1C-1 T
Mfg. David Clark Co., Inc.
P/N A-2006-000 Ser. No. 101
Size - Grissom June 66

The capital "T" on the second line is boldly handwritten in ink. There is a 5.5" x 4" silk American flag sewn onto the right upper sleeve, a 3.5" diameter Apollo 1 crew patch on the right chest with a 4.25" x 1" "V.I. GRISSOM" name tag above it, and a 3" diameter NASA "meatball" insignia on the left chest. The left sleeve has a group of five pockets of pen, pencil, and slide rule sizes, a large pocket with a slanted and zippered opening on each side of the chest, and a loop just to the left of the zipper likely for holding a tool. The back is pleated with strips of elastic sewn inside. The sleeves measure 21" in length from shoulder seam to cuff; the shoulder measures 18" across the seam, and the top of the neck to the bottom measures 22.5" at the back. Approximately a men's size Small. Excellent condition.
Trousers:
A beltless waist with a button adjustment at each side, a hook and clasp closure, two slanted top pockets, and a zipper front. The cloth tag sewn inside the waist reads as follows:
TROUSER, INFLIGHT COVERALL
NASA Designation AC-1C-1 T
Mfg. David Clark Co., Inc.
P/N A-2007-000 Ser. No. 101
Size - Grissom June 66

The capital "T" on the second line is boldly handwritten in ink. Two additional large pockets on each leg are zipper-closed, one horizontal and one vertical. Additionally, there is another five pocket grouping as on the jacket on the lower right leg. Each outside leg has an 8.5" zipper up from the cuff, likely to allow for the wearing of boots. The waist measures approximately 32" and the inseam measures 26". Excellent condition.

The original plans for the Apollo program included two "Block I" missions in earth orbit followed by the lunar-capable "Block II" missions. NASA decided to use what was essentially the David Clark-manufactured Gemini G3C spacesuit, with minor modifications, for the Block I missions. It was designated the A1C and was used by the primary and backup crews in training for those first two flights and would have been used aboard Apollo 1. This is the Inflight Coverall component of that set of garments, thus the "AC-1C" designation. The Apollo 1 astronauts were wearing their A1C pressure suits when the tragic fire on January 27, 1967, took their lives. It was at that point that NASA realized the need to develop a set of fireproof garments for spaceflight and the A1C suit project was terminated. Eventually, the A7L space suit was adopted and used on all the Apollo missions.

There is little need to emphasize how important and rare these garments are. After a distinguished career as an Air Force pilot, flying 100 missions in Korea, Gus Grissom was chosen by NASA in 1959 as one of the first seven astronauts. He was selected to be the second American ever to fly into space in 1961. In 1963, he commanded the first two-man U.S. mission, Gemini 3. On February 21, 1967, had he lived, he would have commanded America's first three-man mission, Apollo 1. Awards he received include: Distinguished Flying Cross for service in Korea; Air Medal with cluster for service in Korea; two NASA Distinguished Service Medals; NASA Exceptional Service Medal; Air Force Command Pilot rating with astronaut qualifier; Honorary Doctorate, Florida Institute of Technology; and (posthumously) the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. By any conceivable definition of the word, Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom was a great American hero. These garments would not be out of place at any museum or in a private collection. Consider their significance when you place your bid.

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Service and Handling Description: Oversized Misc Collecibles - Lg - (25X12X12) (view shipping information)

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