USS Hornet Museum Celebrates Anniversary of Moon Landing

As part of a day of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, the recovery team for the astronauts visited the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda to share their stories.

Bruce Johnson was the co-pilot in the helicopter that picked up the astronauts safely when they splashed down in the ocean after those historic first steps.

“We raised each astronaut into the back of the helicopter, and after they got an initial check by Dr. Carpentier we flew them to the Hornet,” he said.

As people explored the museum, John Hirasaki, who worked in the mobile quarantine facility, recounted some of the special measures that had to be taken. “We did not know if there were harmful pathogens on the moon that could affect the rest of earth, so as a precaution we had to build facilities in order to house the crew,” he said.

People who attended the celebration were amazed. “I had a chance to chop it up with the co-pilot and it just seemed like these people were part of history, and for me to meet them is just an honor for me,” said one attendee.

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