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John Young – Astronaut

Astronaut John Young passed away on January 5, 2018 in Houston, Texas, but will forever be a cherished Orlandoan. Read the tribute created by NASA.

Born in San Francisco, California, on September 24, 1930, John Watts Young received a bachelor’s of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952. Following graduation, Young joined the U.S. Navy. After receiving flight training, he was assigned to a fighter squadron. In 1959, after passing test pilot training, Young was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center and set time-to-climb records. He retired from the Navy in 1976.

In 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Young as an astronaut candidate. On March 23, 1965, he flew on Gemini 3 (the first piloted Gemini mission), and he was on Gemini 10 in 1966. In 1969, Young operated the command module of Apollo 10 during its dual rendezvous with two Agena satellites and, in 1972, he was in command of the Apollo 16 mission to the Descartes Highlands on the Moon.

Young served as the commander of the first space shuttle mission (Space Transportation System 1 [STS-1]) in April 1981. He landed the space shuttle Columbia on the first runway landing of a manned space mission. His final mission (STS-9) was aboard space shuttle Columbia in 1983. Young’s shared record for the most space flights, six, was broken in 2002 by Jerry Ross.

Young is singled out for being the only American astronaut to have piloted four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini spacecraft, Apollo (command module), Apollo (lunar module), and space shuttle.

In 1973, Young became chief of the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office. A year later, he was chosen to be chief of the Astronaut Office. He was the associate director (technical) at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, in 1981, inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, in 1993, and awarded the National Space Trophy, in 2000. After 42 years with NASA, Young retired from NASA at the end of 2004.

Source: Space Sciences. 4 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2002.

Click on the links below for articles about John Young from the Orlando Sentinel and photos of John Young as a Junior at Orlando Senior High School in the 1947 Tigando yearbook.

1947 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Juniors pg. 62

Surnames of Juniors pictured on page 62 of the 1947 Orlando Senior High School yearbook include: Warren, Wynell, Watkins, Wesson, West, Wetherell, Whaley, White, Wilder, Willard, Williams, Willsey, Winslow, Wolfe. Woolf, Wright, Yates, John Young, Miller, Meek.

1947 Orlando Senior High School – Football pg. 77
The football teams at Orlando Senior High School are featured on pages 76-79 in the 1947 yearbook. Surnames of persons identified in photos on page 77 include Stavros Demopoulos, Peeler, McGinnis, Terezakis, McCall, Ross, Benoit, Ogilvie, Stevens, Francisco, Dobbins, Webb, Uthlaut, Estey, Irvine, John Young, Fulmer, Browning, Buford, Hickman, McCree, Traveler, Barnes, Nicodemus, Turner, Akin, Murphy, Osteen, Coach O’Neil, Coach Hughes, Flowers, Kirkland, Butterfield, Bethea, Mills, Ayres, Kerr, Yuhl, Lloyd, Stiles, Nelson, Railsback, Crandell, Simms, Nolle, Thompson, Murphy, Skinner, Paul, Verkins, Roth, Pittman, Davis, Chamberlin, Franklin, Coach Smith.

1047 Orlando Senior High School – Football pg. 78
The football teams at Orlando Senior High School are featured on pages 76-79 in the 1947 yearbook. Surnames of persons identified in photos on page 78  include: Bill Peeler, George Terezakis, Art Ross, John Young, Dabney Davis, Jerry Chamberlin, Jim Franklin, John Francisco, Bob McGinnis, John Demopoulos, Jud Fulmer.

1947 Orlando Senior High School – Baseball pg. 85
Boys’ Baseball is featured on pages 85 and 86 in the 1947 Orlando Senior High School yearbook. Students mentioned on this page include: Stavros Demopoulos, Peeler, McGinnis, Terezakis, McCall, Ross, Benoit, Ogilvie, Stevens, Francisco, Dobbins, Webb, Uthlaut, Estey, Irvine, John Young, Fulmer, Browning, Buford, Hickman, McCree, Traveler, Barnes, Nicodemus, Turner, Akin, Murphy, Osteen, Coach O’Neil, Coach Hughes, Flowers, Kirkland, Butterfield, Bethea, Mills, Ayres, Kerr, Yuhl, Lloyd, Stiles, Nelson, Railsback, Crandell, Simms, Nolle, Thompson, Murphy, Skinner, Paul, Verkins, Roth, Pittman, Davis, Chamberlin, Franklin, Coach Smith.

1947 Orlando Senior High School – Torch Society pg. 107
The Torch Society at Orlando Senior High School is featured on page 107 in the 1947 yearbook. Students in the Torch Society had been members of the National Junior Honor Society in junior high schools. Officers are: Eleanor Cooper – President, Marjorie Meckstroth – Vice President, Betty Marie Davis – Secretary, John Young – Treasurer, Miss Margaret Brewton – Sponsor. These persons are identified in a photograph on the page. Surnames of students identified in a group photo on this page include: Williford, Glover, Crew, Engdahl, Hollingsworth, Harding, Kottmeier, Meyer, Wharton, Pickering, Kemp, Hodge, Patrick, Carey, Daves, Davies, Thibadeau, Wingart, Cooper, Brown, Hill, Turner, Helms, Falls, Meckstroth, Wimberly, Wheeler, Wilder, Cole, Moon, McLaughlin, Davis, Blam, Helms, Stewart, Swaidmark, Wilson, Cooper, Dynes, Zalla, Pittman, Livingston, Kennerly, Marshall, Mauk, Cheek, Meiner, Goble, Johnson, Pulsifer, Morris, Stowe, West, Isbell, Nydegger, Cawthon, Jensen, Johnson, Kelb, Martin, Prettyman, Nolle.

1947 Orlando Senior High School – Key Club pg. 114
The Key Club is featured on page 114 of the 1947 Orlando Senior High School yearbook. Club officers identified in a photo on the page are Conrad Stewart – President, Frank Page – Vice President, Art Alberty – Secretary, Gene Carpenter – Treasurer, Ernset Hagenmueller – Chaplain, Mr. Brumbaugh – Sponsor. Surnames of others students identified in a group photo on the page include: Stewart, Manley, Meiner, Alberty, Page, Philips, Hagenmueller, Block, Carpenter, Uthlaut, Compton, Hook, Denson, Smith, Taylor, Morris, Cloud, Clouser. Not pictured are Robert Smythe, Jimmie Cheek, John Young, and Stavros Demopoulos.

Article: John Young Made Kiwanis Member 
Orlando Evening Star newspaper Wednesday, April 21, 1965

John Young Medals Offered
Article from the Orlando Sentinel 21 April 1965, page 1A….

Astronaut John Young Due For Honors – Filled Days
Article from the Orlando Sentinel  24 May 1972, page 3B. Astronaut John Young Due For Honors – Filled Days.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Listen below as George Williston shares some of the memorable stories of living in the John Young House at the College Park Historical Committee meeting on February 25, 2013 and view photos.

LISTEN  (14:20)

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Article: John Young Made Kiwanis Member

Orlando Evening Star newspaper Wednesday, April 21, 1965

Astronaut John Young Due For Honors - Filled Days

Article from the Orlando entinel  24 May 1972, page 3B. Astronaut John Young Due For Honors - Filled Days.

John Young Medals Offered

Article from the Orlando Sentinel 21 April 1965, page 1A.

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