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William Pogue

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William R. Pogue
Pogue posing in his spacesuit
Pogue in August 1975
Born(1930-01-23)January 23, 1930
DiedMarch 3, 2014(2014-03-03) (aged 84)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesWilliam Reid Pogue
Bill Pogue
Alma mater
OccupationFighter pilot, test pilot
AwardsNASA Distinguished Service Medal.jpg Air Medal front.jpg
Space career
NASA Astronaut
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, USAF
Time in space
84d 01h 15m
Selection1966 NASA Group 5
Total EVAs
2
Total EVA time
13 hours 34 minutes
MissionsSkylab 4
Mission insignia
Skylab 3 insignia
RetirementSeptember 1, 1975
Signature
BillPogueAstronautSig.png

William Reid Pogue (January 23, 1930 – March 3, 2014) was an American astronaut and pilot who worked for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) as a fighter and test pilot, and reached the rank of colonel. He was also a teacher, public speaker and author.

Born and educated in Oklahoma, Pogue graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and enlisted in the USAF in 1951 and served for 24 years. He flew combat during the Korean War and with the USAF Thunderbirds, served as a flight instructor and mathematics professor at the United States Air Force Academy, and was a test pilot whose service included a two-years exchange with the Royal Air Force.

During his service as a flight instructor, Pogue was accepted as a trainee astronaut for NASA in 1966. His NASA career included one orbital mission as pilot of Skylab 4, whose crew conducted dozens of in-orbit research experiments and set a duration record of 84 days – the longest crewed flight – that was unbroken in NASA for over 20 years. The mission also had a dispute with ground control over schedule management that news media named The Skylab Mutiny. Pogue retired from the USAF and NASA a few months after he returned from Skylab, after which he taught and wrote about aviation and aeronautics in the U.S. and abroad. Pogue died in 2014, aged 84, and was survived by three children, four stepsons, and his third wife.

Early life and education[edit]

William Pogue was born on January 23, 1930, in Okemah, Oklahoma, to Alex Wallis Pogue (1904–1998) and Margaret Frances Pogue (née McDow; 1906–1994) and is of Choctaw ancestry.[1] William had four siblings; two sisters and two brothers.[2] [3] Pogue attended Lake Elementary School and Sand Springs High School (now Charles Page High School) in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, completing his high-school education in 1947.[4][5] He participated in the Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Second Class.[6] Pogue attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1951. In 1960, he graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a Master of Science degree in Mathematics.[7]

Career[edit]

Flight experience[edit]

Pogue was attracted to flying from an early age; he first flew an airplane while in high school.[8] Pogue enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1951, underwent the aviation cadet training program in 1952.[9] He was later commissioned into the USAF as a second lieutenant.[10] While serving with the Fifth Air Force[11] from 1953 to 1954 during the Korean War, he flew 43 combat missions in fighter bombers while completing a tour of duty.[12] From 1955 to 1957, Pogue was a member of the USAF Thunderbirds as an aerobatics pilot.[13]

Pogue piloted more than 50 types and models of American and British aircraft, and was qualified as a civilian flight instructor. Pogue served in the mathematics department as an assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1960 to 1963.[14] He applied to become an astronaut in 1962, but was rejected due to a lack of pilot experience.[12] In September 1965, Pogue completed a two-year tour as test pilot with the British Ministry of Aviation under an exchange program between the USAF and Royal Air Force and graduated from the Empire Test Pilots' School in Farnborough, England.[12] He was an Air Force major at the time, and went to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas,[15] from an assignment at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he had been an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School since October 1965.[12]

NASA career[edit]

The Skylab 4 crew, from left: Gibson, Carr and Pogue

In April 1966, Pogue was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in Group 5 of the Apollo program.[16] He served as a member of the support crews for the Apollo 7,[17] Apollo 11,[18] 13[a][23] and Apollo 14 missions. He replaced Ed Givens, who died in a car accident, as Capsule Communicator for Apollo 7.[24] No crew members were assigned to the canceled Apollo missions but if normal crew rotation had been followed, Pogue would have been assigned as command module pilot for the Apollo 19 mission.[25]

Pogue (left) and Gerald Carr disposing of trash bags aboard the Skylab 4

Pogue was the pilot of Skylab 4, the third and final crewed visit to the Skylab Orbital Workshop, from November 16, 1973, to February 8, 1974.[26] At 84 days, 1 hour and 15 minutes, it was the longest crewed flight to that date.[26][27] It held the record for the longest spacefight until 1978, when the crew of Soviet ship Salyut 6 spent 140 days at the space station.[10] Pogue was accompanied on the 34.5 million miles (55.5×10^6 km) flight by Commander Gerald Carr and science pilot Edward Gibson.[28] As a crew, they completed 56 experiments, 26 science demonstrations, 15 subsystem detailed objectives, and 13 student investigations across 1,214 revolutions of the Earth.[29]

After around six weeks of flight, there were disagreements between crew and ground control.[10] On December 28, 1973 radio transmission was turned off with the crew spending the time relaxing and gazing at the Earth from orbit.[10] The incident was later referred to as the Skylab mutiny.[30] Pogue later commented that the team was “studying the Sun, the Earth below, and ourselves.”[10] Once radio transmission had resumed, an agreement for the flight to continue; with tensions being significantly diminished.[10] Pogue commented in 1985 that the flight had made him more empathetic, saying “I try to put myself into the human situation, instead of trying to operate like a machine.”[10]

The crew also acquired extensive Earth resources observations data using Skylab's Earth resources experiment package camera and sensor array, and logged 338 hours of operations of the Apollo Telescope Mount that made extensive observations of the sun's processes.[31] Pogue and Carr viewed a comet transiting the sky during an extravehicular activity (EVA).[31] He logged 13 hours and 34 minutes in two EVAs outside the orbital workshop.[32][33] On September 1, 1975, Pogue retired from the USAF, as a colonel, and NASA,[34] to become vice president of High Flight Foundation.[35] Pogue logged 7,200 hours of flight time, including 4,200 hours in jet aircraft and 2,000 hours in space flight during his career.[36]

Post-NASA activities[edit]

After he retired from NASA, William Pogue was self-employed as an aerospace consultant and a producer of general-interest videos about space flight.[36] In 1985, Pogue wrote a book called How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?, answering 187 common questions he received about spaceflight.[37] In 1992, he co-wrote The Trikon Deception, a science-fiction novel, with Ben Bova.[1] He also became a consutant for aircraft manufacturers including Boeing and Martin Marietta, helping to create space station technology.[10] Pogue continuously presented lectures over a 40-year career, working at more than 500 schools and 100 civic clubs.[38]

Personal life[edit]

William Pogue married three times; his first marriage was in 1952 to Helen Juanita Dittmar, with whom he had three children.[12][10] The couple later divorced. He married Jean Ann Baird in 1979 and the marriage lasted until Baird's death in 2009.[39] Pogue's last marriage was to Tina, whom he wed in 2012.[40]

Death[edit]

During the night of March 3, 2014, at the age of 84, Pogue died from natural causes at his home in Cocoa Beach, Florida.[41][4] He was survived by his third wife Tina, three children from his first marriage, and four stepsons from his second marriage.[42] His ashes were sent into Earth orbit using Celestis, a memorial rocket service launch on a Falcon Heavy rocket on June 25, 2019.[40][43] A plaque commemorating his life was erected at Sand Springs, Oklahoma.[44]

Special honors[edit]

Pogue and his crew members received many awards. Pogue won the Johson Space Center Superior Achievement Award in 1970.[36] Three Skylab crews, including Pogue, were awarded the 1973 Robert J. Collier Trophy.[45][46] In 1974, President Richard Nixon presented the Skylab 4 crew with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal,[47][48] and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded the crew the De La Vaulx Medal and Vladimir Komarov Diploma that year.[49] Pogue was among nine Skylab astronauts who were presented with the City of Chicago Gold Medal in 1974 after a parade with 150,000 spectators.[50] The American Astronautical Society's 1975 Flight Achievement Award was awarded to the crew.[7][51] Gerald P. Carr accepted the 1975 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy from President Gerald Ford, which was awarded to the Skylab astronauts,[52] who also won the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award in 1975.[53]

William R. Pogue Municipal Airport[b] in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, was named in Pogue's honor in 1974.[54] The Oklahoma Aviation and Space Museum awarded him the Clarence E. Page Memorial Trophy for "making significant and ongoing contributions to the U.S. aviation industry" in February 1989.[55] Page died eight days before the award was presented and Pogue used most of his speech to memorialize Page's life.[55] Pogue was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1974.[56] Pogue received the City of New York gold medal[36] and the General Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy for the same year.[57]

Pogue has been inducted into three halls of fame. He was inducted into the Five Civilized Tribes Hall of Fame in 1975,[58] and was one of five Oklahoman astronauts inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 1980.[59] Pogue was one of 24 Apollo astronauts who were inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997.[60] As a member of the USAF Thunderbirds, he won the Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.[61]

Bibliography[edit]

  • William Reid Pogue (1991). How Do You Go To The Bathroom In Space?: All the Answers to All the Questions You Have About Living in Space. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-8125-1728-6.
  • William Reid Pogue (1985). Astronaut primer. Tucson, Arizona: Libration Press. ISBN 978-0-935291-00-1.
  • Ben Bova; William Reid Pogue. The Trikon Deception. ISBN 978-1-4332-2777-6.
  • William Reid Pogue (2003). Space trivia. Ontario: Apogee Books. ISBN 978-1-896522-98-2.
  • William Reid Pogue (March 2011). But for the Grace of God: An Autobiography of an Aviator and Astronaut (First ed.). Soar with Eagles. ISBN 978-0-9814756-5-3.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ Some sources list Kerwin[19] and others list Pogue as a member of the Apollo 13 support crew.[20][21][22]
  2. ^ FAA Code: OWP; ICAO Code: KOWP

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biographical Data Sheet" (PDF). NASA. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "William Pogue" (PDF). voicesofoklahoma.com (pdf). Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Writer, TIM STANLEY World Staff. "High-flying astronaut Bill Pogue never lost his down-home roots". Tulsa World.
  4. ^ a b Stanley, Tim (March 4, 2014). "Sand Springs native, Skylab astronaut Bill Pogue dies at 84". Tulsa World.
  5. ^ "Star Voyager // Skylab Was Once Home to Former Sandite". Tulsa World.
  6. ^ "Astronauts and the BSA" (PDF). Boy Scouts of America. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 13, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Former Astronaut to Speak Friday". The Tennessean. June 29, 1983. p. 52. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Voices of Oklahoma interview". August 8, 2012. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  9. ^ Moore, Bill. "Pogue, William Reid". The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vitello, Paul (March 10, 2014). "William Pogue, Astronaut Who Staged a Strike in Space, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 24, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "Remembering William Reid "Bill" Pogue". National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e Recer, Paul (November 18, 1973). "Oldest space rookie has distinguished flying career". Biloxi Daily Herald. Houston. Associated Press. p. 3. Archived from the original on August 7, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Shayler, David J.; Burgess, Colin (June 19, 2017). The Last of NASA's Original Pilot Astronauts: Expanding the Space Frontier in the Late Sixties. Springer. pp. 59–61. ISBN 978-3-319-51014-9. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Neal, Valerie (March 22, 2014). "Remembering William Reid "Bill" Pogue". Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Smith, Lydia (March 12, 2014). "William R. Pogue: Who Was the Man Who Went on Strike in Space?". International Business Times UK. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  16. ^ Thompson, Ronald (April 5, 1966). "19 New Spacemen Are Named". The High Point Enterprise. High Point, North Carolina. p. 2A. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Roberts, John A. (October 10, 1968). "3 in Apollo Have 6 Shadows on Ground". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. p. 33. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ Gleason, Matt (July 20, 2009). "Oklahoma man behind the countdown". Tulsa World – via News OK.
  19. ^ Slayton & Cassutt 1994, p. 251.
  20. ^ Brooks, Grimwood, & Swenson 1979, p. 378.
  21. ^ Orloff 2000, p. 137.
  22. ^ "Oral History Transcript" (PDF) (Interview). Johnson Space Center Oral History Project. Interviewed by Kevin M. Rusnak. Houston, Texas: NASA. July 17, 2000. pp. 12-25–12-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2019.
  23. ^ "MSC 69–56" (PDF) (Press release). Houston, Texas: NASA. August 6, 1969. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  24. ^ Orloff 2000, p. 271.
  25. ^ "Apollo 18 through 20 – The Cancelled Missions". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Skylab 4 Pilot William Pogue Dies". NASA. March 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  27. ^ "Skylab Crew Returns to American Ground". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. Associated Press. February 11, 1974. p. 18. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "Skylab Astronauts Return Home Safely". The Winona Daily News. Winona, Minnesota. Associated Press. February 8, 1974. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Ramsay, Jim (April 22, 1977). "City Official Hear Astronaut Describe Plans". Valley Morning Star. Harlingen, Texas. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Broad, William J. (July 16, 1997). "On Edge in Outer Space? It Has Happened Before". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Skylab Crewman Have Personal Goals". Tucson Daily Citizen. Tucson, Arizona. Enterprise News Service. November 7, 1973. p. 36. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "Skylab 3 Establishes Stack of Space Marks". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. Associated Press. February 9, 1974. p. 8. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ Shayler, David J.; David, Shayler (May 28, 2001). Skylab: America's Space Station. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 347. ISBN 978-1-85233-407-9. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  34. ^ "Astronauts Pogue, Carr Retire". The Indiana Gazette. Indiana, Pennsylvania. August 25, 1975. p. 23. Archived from the original on February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ Chriss, Nicholas (September 18, 1975). "Astronaut Corps Getting Thinner and Thinner". Florida Today. Cocoa, Florida. p. 11A. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  36. ^ a b c d "Astronaut Biography". NASA. March 2014. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016.
  37. ^ "An Inside View of Outer Space". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. October 27, 1985. p. 138. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  38. ^ "William R. Pogue, astronaut, dies at 84". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  39. ^ Shayler, David J.; Burgess, Colin (June 19, 2017). The Last of NASA's Original Pilot Astronauts. Springer. ISBN 9783319510149. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  40. ^ a b "William R. Pogue: Astronaut wrote books, won many awards". Orlando Sentinel. March 22, 2014. Archived from the original on August 7, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  41. ^ Paulson, Sarah (March 5, 2014). "NASA astronaut William Pogue, 84, dies". Florida Today. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  42. ^ Pearlman, Robert. "Skylab astronaut William Pogue dies at 84". collectSPACE. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  43. ^ Mack, Eric (June 23, 2019). "SpaceX Falcon Heavy to launch ashes of an all-star, astronaut and others". CNET. Archived from the original on June 23, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  44. ^ "Plaque to honor William Pogue in Sand Springs". tulsaworld.com.
  45. ^ "Collier 1970–1979 Recipients". National Aeronautic Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  46. ^ "Collier Trophy at Test Range". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. October 3, 1974. p. 21. Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  47. ^ "NASA Fund Drive Backed by Nixon". Playground Daily News. Fort Walton Beach, Florida. United Press International. March 21, 1974. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  48. ^ "Nixon Awards Skylab Medals". The Bridgeport Post. Bridgeport, Connecticut. Associated Press. March 21, 1974. p. 24. Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  49. ^ "FAI Awards". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. October 10, 2017. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  50. ^ "Chicagoans Host Nine Astronauts". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. March 27, 1974. p. 13–A. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  51. ^ "Neil Armstrong Space Flight Achievement Award". American Astronautical Society. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  52. ^ "For Praises Astronauts, Space Program". Daily Press. Newport News. United Press International. April 12, 1975. p. 23. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  53. ^ "Haley Space Flight Award". AIAA. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  54. ^ "Airport Named for Skylab Flier". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. Associated Press. February 21, 1974. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  55. ^ a b Johnson, James (February 23, 1989). "State Astronaut Cited for Aviation Contribution". News OK. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  56. ^ "Pogue to Talk at OBU Convention". The Daily Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. August 11, 1974. p. 7. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  57. ^ "The Gen. Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy" (PDF). Air Force Magazine. USAF. May 1997. p. 156. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  58. ^ Bentley, Mac (December 4, 2002). "Family lacks paperwork to prove heritage". The Daily Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. p. 5A. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  59. ^ "State Aviation Hall of Fame Inducts 9". The Daily Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. December 19, 1980. p. 2S. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  60. ^ Meyer, Marilyn (October 2, 1997). "Ceremony to Honor Astronauts". Florida Today. Cocoa, Florida. p. 2B. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  61. ^ "Astronaut to Appear Here". Baxter Bulletin. Mountain Home, Arkansas. February 28, 1980. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.

References[edit]

External links[edit]