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Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7 and Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7 Recovery Letters [Parker]

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Catalog Data

Parker, Donald Fred,, 1934-2016.  Search this
0.05 Cubic Feet ((1 folder))
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
bulk 1962-1963
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of letters written by Donald Fred Parker to his girlfriend (and later, wife), Jo Ellen, that include a first person account of the recovery operations for both Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7 and Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7. The first letter is dated October 3, 1962 and is two pages, single-side, typewritten. The second letter is dated May 17, 1963 and is four pages, written on both sides by hand in blue ink. This letter is on stationery which includes a drawing of the USS Kearsarge (CV-33) at the top and also includes a postal cover with a cachet specific to the Mercury MA-9 recovery as well as Project Mercury stamps. The last item in the collection is a "Family Gram" newsletter dated October 1962 which also includes a detailed description of the Mercury MA-8 recovery. The newsletter is six pages long, single-side, typewritten, and includes a small USS Kearsarge insignia and small portrait photo of Commanding Officer, Captain E. P. Rankin, at the top.
Biographical / Historical:
Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7 occurred on October 3, 1962 when, over the course of nine hours, Walter Marty "Wally" Schirra, Jr. orbited the Earth six times. Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7 launched on May 15, 1963 and landed on May 16, 1963. During the course of that mission, Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. orbited Earth 22 times. Both flights were recovered in the Pacific Ocean by the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier CV-33 Kearsarge. Donald Fred Parker (1934-2016) was a naval flight officer assigned to the ship's company of the USS Kearsarge (CV-33). Parker was junior officer of the deck for the Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7 recovery operation, and officer of the deck for the Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7 recovery. He was also the administrative assistant to the executive officer, and his duties included writing "Family Gram" newsletters to be sent under the captain's signature to friends and relatives of the men on the ship.
Jo Ellen Parker, Gift, 2017
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Space flight  Search this
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Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7  Search this
Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7  Search this
Mercury MA-8 Flight Sigma 7 and Mercury MA-9 Flight Faith 7 Recovery Letters [Parker], Acc. 2017-0017, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives