Toop
Leroy  Gordon  Cooper,  Jr.
Photo
Ribbons
 
  Rank, Service
Colonel O-6,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Marine Corps 1945-1946
U.S. Army 1949
U.S. Air Force 1949-1970
NASA Astronaut 1959-1970
World War II 1945
Cold War 1945-1946, 1949-1970
  Tribute:

L. Gordon Cooper was born on March 6, 1927, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on June 20, 1945, but World War II ended before he could make it overseas. Cooper received an honorable discharge from the Marines on August 30, 1946, and was commissioned a 2Lt in the U.S. Army on June 8, 1949. He transferred his commission to the U.S. Air Force on September 30, 1949, and entered Undergraduate Pilot Training. After receiving his pilot wings, Lt Cooper flew F-84 Thunderjets and F-86 Sabres with the 86th Fighter Bomber Group in Munich, West Germany. After returning to the United States four years later, Cooper completed his college degree and then reported to the Air Force Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards AFB, California. He graduated and became a test pilot in 1957, and was assigned as an aeronautical engineer and test pilot in the Performance Engineering Branch of the Flight Test Division at Edwards. Cooper was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959, in the first astronaut group chosen by NASA. On May 15 and 16, 1963, he piloted the "Faith 7" spacecraft on a 22-orbit mission which concluded the operational phase of Project Mercury. Col Cooper again went into space aboard Gemini 5, which lasted from August 21 to 29, 1965. He later served as backup command pilot for Gemini 12 and backup commander for Apollo X. Col Cooper retired from the Air Force and NASA on July 31, 1970. He logged over 7,000 flying hours as an Air Force pilot and 222 hours in space. L. Gordon Cooper died on October 4, 2004, at his home in Ventura, California, at the age of 77.

  




 


 

 
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Contact Veteran Tributes at info@veterantributes.org