NASA Badges, c. 1961
‘Gus’ Grissom is best known as one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American in space and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. He was killed, along with fellow astronauts Edward White (1930-1967) and Roger Chaffee (1935-1967) on January 27, 1967 during a pre-launch test for Apollo I mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (then known as Cape Kennedy) in Florida.
He enrolled at Purdue University in 1945 to complete a degree in engineering. During his years at Purdue, Grissom joined Mitchell Masonic Lodge, No. 228 in his hometown of Mitchell, Indiana. His leather name badge with the name ‘V.I. Girssom’ and ‘NASA’ badge were removed by William D. Killen from Grimmom’s astronaut suit from the 1961 Gemini program prior to the suit being discarded. Killen, a member of Collington Lodge, No. 230 under the Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Maryland, met Grissom while stationed as a firefighter at Cape Canaveral. He retired from the United States military on September 1, 2004.