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    Flown on missions from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs!

    Wally Schirra's 1945 U.S. Naval Academy 14K Class Ring, Flown with Him on Mercury-Atlas 8 (Sigma 7), Gemini 6A, and Apollo 7, Directly from His Family's Collection. A man's yellow gold ring, 20mm inside diameter, hallmarked "14K" and "B B & B" (Bailey, Banks, & Biddle), with one bezel-set oval cabochon jade. Engraved inside is "Walter Marty Schirra Jr/ Navy". Well-worn from decades of wear by one of the original men with the "Right Stuff", but still a handsome piece of jewelry with an unmatched history of flight in space. Included with this lot will be a signed Certificate of Authenticity from Wally's son, Walter.

    After Pearl Harbor, Schirra applied to the Naval Academy and completed the coursework in an accelerated three years, graduating in 1945 (just before the end of WWII), this ring being a treasured reminder of that accomplishment. The word "accomplishment" pretty much sums up the life and legacy of Wally Schirra. Following his service at the end of WWII, he began training as a Naval Aviator receiving his wings in 1948, first flying F8F Bearcats and then F-80 Shooting Stars. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he trained to fly the F-84 Thunderjet and flew 90 combat missions, downing two MiGs. Returning home, Schirra became a test pilot at Naval Ordnance Test Station China Lake, testing various weapon systems. During subsequent assignments, he learned to fly the F7U Cutlass and the F3H Demon. In 1958, he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, a member of Class 20 along with fellow future astronauts Jim Lovell and Charles Conrad, where he learned to fly numerous other aircraft such as the F4D Skyray, the F11F Tiger, and the F8U Crusader. In February 1959, Schirra was one of the 110 military test pilots selected as candidates for the newly-formed NASA manned spaceflight program. He was selected as one the legendary "Mercury Seven" and, as we say, the rest is history.

    Wally Schirra was the only astronaut to fly in all of the first three U.S. manned spaceflight programs. This ring accompanied him on all three of these missions:
    Mercury-Atlas 8 (Sigma Σ7): Schirra was the third American in orbit in this nine-hour flight, October 3, 1962, that confirmed the spacecraft's durability before an attempt at a longer flight.
    Gemini 6A: Schirra was commander, with Tom Stafford as pilot, of this mission that accomplished the first manned rendezvous with another spacecraft (Gemini 7) on December 15, 1965.
    Apollo 7: Schirra was chosen to command the first three-man Apollo mission, October 11-22, 1968, testing the Command/Service Module in earth orbit along with Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham. This was the first time a Saturn IB put a crew into space and the first to include a live television broadcast from a U.S. spacecraft (in which this ring can be seen). This was Schirra's last spaceflight.

    Included with this lot will be a sizable collection of photos- originals from his collection as well as reprints- from all three missions showing Schirra wearing this very ring, a cherished lifetime possession. This military and space relic is worthy of the most advanced institutional or private collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    9th-11th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,417

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    Sold on May 11, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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