Description

    Distinguished Service Medal

    Buzz Aldrin's U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and First Oak Leaf Cluster Award Documents and Citations Originally from His Personal Collection. A high honor given to members of the U.S. Air Force for exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility, in combat or otherwise. They are usually awarded only to senior Air Force generals; Buzz Aldrin is one of the rare recipients that retired "only" as a colonel. Offered here are his two award documents, both 10.5" x 8".

    July 24, 1969: The first one shown is issued by the president, dated July 24, 1969, for "The Distinguished Service Medal" It is signed by Air Force Chief of Staff John P. McConnell and Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans, Jr. It is for service from July 16-24, 1969, the dates of the Apollo 11 mission. The accompanying citation reads, in full:

    "CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL TO EDWIN E. ALDRIN, JR.
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, awards the Distinguished Service Medal to Colonel Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., for an exceptionally outstanding achievement in a position of great responsibility as Astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, during the period 16 July 1969 to 24 July 1969. During this period he served as Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo XI spacecraft. This mission successfully landed the first earthman on the moon, culminating in man's ages-old desire to travel to other planets. Colonel Aldrin overcame all obstacles encountered in the new and strange lunar environment and with painstaking thoroughness and great physical effort successfully completed his assigned mission. He deployed a solar wind composition experiment, conducted an extensive evaluation of lunar environment, set up various experiments to remain behind on the moon's surface, and collected lunar samples for scientific evaluation upon return to earth. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Aldrin reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

    February 29, 1972: The second is identical except that it's a "Distinguished Service Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster)" for service between June 1, 1951 and February 29, 1972. This coincides with his career in the Air Force. Signed by Air Force Chief of Staff John D. Ryan and Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The accompanying citation reads, in full:

    "CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL (FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER) TO EDWIN E. ALDRIN, JR.
    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, awards the Distinguished Service Medal to Colonel Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious service in duties of great responsibility from 1 June 1951 to 29 February 1972. Colonel Aldrin demonstrated remarkable skill and bravery as a combat pilot in the Korean War. He later completed an arduous technical program and obtained the degree of Doctor of Science and Astronautics. Colonel Aldrin's outstanding and dedicated efforts gave direction to the National Space Program and resulted in the development of vastly improved orbital rendezvous and lunar descent procedures. These efforts were instrumental in the accomplishment of the national objective of landing men on the moon and culminated in his being second man to set foot on the lunar surface. His contributions to the space shuttle and space station programs have also played a significant role in formulating advanced mission planning for those important programs. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Aldrin culminate a distinguished career in the service of his country and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

    Also included are five vintage copies of the Air Force Special Order GB-603, dating August 26, 1969 regarding the issuing of the Distinguished Service Medal to both Aldrin and Collins (Armstrong was a civilian). Some light toning on the citations, all generally fine.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    1st Friday
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