|Ed Givens Jr.|
January 5, 1930|
|Died||June 6, 1967
|Selection||1966 NASA Group|
Edward Galen "Ed" Givens, Jr (January 5, 1930 – June 6, 1967) was an United States Air Force officer and a NASA astronaut. Selected by NASA in 1966 as a member of the fifth astronaut group and killed in an automobile accident, he was the only member of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo-era astronaut corps to die before being assigned to a prime or backup spaceflight crew.
Givens was commissioned in the Air Force upon graduating from United States Naval Academy in 1952 and received his flight training as a student pilot at the United States Air Force Air Training Command. In 1954, he was a flight commander and fighter pilot with the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group on duty in Japan. He served as an instructor at the Air Force Interceptor Weapons School from January 1956 to March 1958 and subsequently attended the United States Air Force Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Upon graduation he became an instructor in the Stability and Control Section.
His next assignment took him to the Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, where he was a project pilot with Air Development Squadron 4. While there, he not only conducted operational evaluations but also was responsible for compiling and developing the operation procedures and tactics for fleet operation of the F8U-2N.
He served as Assistant to the Commandant at the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School from November 1961 to September 1962 and then attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, from which he graduated in 1963. When informed of his selection for astronaut training in 1966, he was assigned as Project Officer with USAF SSD Detachment 2 at the Manned Spacecraft Center.
He logged more than 3,500 hours flight time; 2,800 hours in jet craft.
Givens was one of nineteen selected by NASA in April 1966 for its fifth astronaut group. After completing basic astronaut training, he was assigned to the Apollo program and briefly served on the support crew for the first manned post-Apollo 1 fire mission, eventually to fly as Apollo 7. On June 6, 1967, Givens was driving his Volkswagen home from a meeting of the Quiet Birdmen fraternal organization, with two other officers in the car, when he missed a sharp, unmarked turn and crashed into a ditch in Pearland, Texas, near Johnson Space Center. Givens died on the way to the hospital. He was survived by his wife Ada and their three children.
- Jean, Charlie (March 18, 1986). "Memorial Will Honor All Who Died". Orlando Sentinel. p. 2. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
A family-approved account of Givens' life appears in the 2003 book "Fallen Astronauts" by Colin Burgess.