DescriptionApollo 16 Unflown Silver Robbins Medallion Directly from the Personal Collection of Astronaut William Pogue, with Signed LOA. This 35mm sterling silver medal, though not flown, is one of 300 minted to commemorate the Apollo 16 flight, the fifth manned mission to land on the moon. Crewmembers John Young, Ken Mattingly, and Charlie Duke participated in the April 16-27, 1972, mission. The obverse features the mission insignia, an eagle and shield above the moon along with the surnames of the crewmembers. The reverse features the engraved dates. The sterling and Robbins hallmarks are on the rim. Original case included. Excellent condition.
Included with this lot is a long and interesting handwritten and signed letter from Pogue regarding Apollo 16. It was received too late to be included in the printed catalog. The content is transcribed below (see last image):
"I bought several Apollo 16 Medallions because I thought I was going to be on the Apollo 16 Backup Crew.
"In early summer 1970 I was working on the Apollo 14 Support Crew for Al Shepard. As part of my Support Crew duties I worked on the design of the first wheeled vehicle to be used on the moon. It was called the METS (Modular Equipment Transporter System) and was used to carry a wide range of tools, instruments and other devices to make the astronaut jobs easier. I also played the role of CAPCOM during training to familiarize the lunar crews with lunar topography for their exploration routes on the moon, simulated by similar terrain in Hawaii, I also evaluated mission equipment in a simulated 1/6G environments.
"In July Jerry Carr, Ed Gibson and I were informed that we would assume the role of Backup crewmen to John Young, Ken Mattingly and Charlie Duke, the Commander, Command Module Pilot and Lunar Module Pilots of Apollo 16. We weren't announced publicly as the Backup Crew because there was such uncertainty about possible cancellation of missions. The Apollo 16 Backup Crew was supposed to be Fred Haise, Bill Pogue and Jerry Carr (Commander, Command Module Pilot and Lunar Module Pilot respectively).
"In mid July John Young invited me to accompany the Apollo 16 Lunar Crew on a geology field trip through New Mexico and Arizona. It was really interesting but by the end of the week we were all tired and happy to see the motel in Flagstaff, Arizona our quarters for the evening.
"After a full night of rest I got up, showered and got dressed to prepare for the flight to Phoenix and then on to Houston and the Johnson Space Center and home. I walked out of the motel and spotted Fred Haise carrying a newspaper with the headline held outwards. It said Apollo 18 & 19 had been cancelled. Apollo 20 had been cancelled previously, so the headline wasn't really too much of a shock.
"A few days later Deke Slayton asked to speak to Jerry, Ed and me and said, 'Well, you are not going to fly on Apollo, how would you like to fly on the 3rd visit to Skylab.' He got an enthusiastic 'Yes sir' in unison from us. Somehow this sounded more certain and we felt good about the prospects of flying on Skylab. The future looked good.
"Bill Pogue, Pilot Skylab 4/ 9/30/12"
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