He was an astronaut,

the first to walk in space

and the steps he took

were shared by

all mankind.

Once I was among

the privileged to be

introduced to him.

Captivated by the

friendly smile;

I envied those

who called him “friend”

and I wept for our loss

the day he died.


Sandra Lee Smith (1960s)

*How did I meet Lt. Col Edward White?  I was working at Weber Aircraft in San Fernando at the time; I handled the correspondence for The Subcontracts Administrator –Weber Aircraft had the contract for making the harnesses that astronauts wore into space.  Well, Weber didn’t make the harnesses – they were subcontracted to another company (Northrup Ventura, I think)– Ed White came to Weber Aircraft it was for a refitting of his harness after his walk in space in June, 1965;  My supervisor was the subcontracts administrator–and he sent me down to the lab to get signatures on a new job that Weber was handling. The lab administrator said “Sandy,  there’s someone here I would like you to meet” – and, of course, it was Lt. Col Ed white.  I have never been impressed with movie stars, despite working at SAG Health Plan for 27 years–but I WAS impressed the day I met Lt. Col. Edward White

. White died along with astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee during prelaunch testing for the first manned Apollo mission at Cape Canaveral. He …died January 27, 1967 (aged 36), Cape Kennedy, Florida, U.S.  I was devastated by the loss of White, Grissom and Chaffee in a flash fire at Cape Canaveral.


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