Edward Givens

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Edward G. Givens Jr.
Edward Galen Givens.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Nationality American
Born (1930-01-05)January 5, 1930
Quanah, Texas, U.S.
Died June 6, 1967(1967-06-06) (aged 37)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Other names
Edward Galen Givens Jr.
Other occupation
Fighter pilot, test pilot
Texas A&M University
University of Oklahoma
USNA, B.S. 1952
Rank Major, USAF
Selection 1966 NASA Group 5
Missions None

Edward Galen "Ed" Givens Jr. (January 5, 1930 – June 6, 1967), (Maj, USAF), was a United States Air Force officer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. Selected by NASA in 1966 as a member of the fifth astronaut group, he was killed in an automobile accident before being assigned to a prime or backup spaceflight crew.

Early life and education[edit]

Givens was born on January 5, 1930, in Quanah, Texas. He graduated from Quanah High School, and attended Texas A&M University and University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Sciences from the United States Naval Academy, as an outstanding student, in 1952.

Givens was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. He and his wife Ada had two children: Catherine H. (born April 11, 1963), and Edward G. (born June 12, 1964).

Military career[edit]

Givens was commissioned in the Air Force upon graduating from Annapolis 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 Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Upon graduation as an outstanding graduate (Class 58B), 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 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 in Houston, Texas.

He logged more than 3,500 hours flight time; 2,800 hours in jet aircraft.

NASA career[edit]

Givens (sitting row, 1st from left), with fellow Original 19 astronauts

Givens was previously a Project Mercury finalist back in 1959[1] and was one of nineteen astronauts 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 mission after the Apollo 1 fire, 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.[2]

I'm not a hero. I've just got a job to do, and I try to do it to the best of my ability. This is the pinnacle of my career - it's probably the most interesting and challenging job that I can conceive of. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

— Givens, when asked if he saw himself as a modern-day hero.[3]


  • A family-approved account of Givens' life appears in the 2003 book "Fallen Astronauts" by Colin Burgess.
  • His career in the astronaut corps and the circumstances of his death are discussed in Codex Regius (2014). The Forgotten Astronauts:A rarely told Chapter of American Spaceflight History. ISBN 1-4996-1012-2. 

Physical description[edit]

  • Weight: 170 lb (77 kg)
  • Height: 5 ft 11½ in (1.82 m)
  • Hair: Brown
  • Eyes: Brown[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ed Givens' Project Mercury participation
  2. ^ Jean, Charlie (March 18, 1986). "Memorial Will Honor All Who Died". Orlando Sentinel. p. 2. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Edward Givens' quotation
  4. ^ Edward Givens' physical description

External links[edit]