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Danville man documents Apollo 11 splashdown

The USS Hornet Museum today announced the publication of "Hornet Plus Three," the first authoritative book on the Navy's support of America's race to the Moon, with great detail about the recovery of the epic Apollo 11 mission. This book was written by Danville resident Bob Fish, an Apollo curator and Hornet trustee.

The Apollo 11 recovery was the most difficult of all the NASA missions in the 1960s, said Fish, and the book contains a wealth of personal information from members of the "command element:" - the NASA and Navy recovery team leaders.

"I spent seven years researching the information, collecting photos and interviewing participants so it contains a lot of previously unpublished info," said Fish. "So much so, that Neil Armstrong wrote the initial cover blurb and Dick Gordon wrote the Foreword!"

The book provides insights never before available to the public, said Fish, and anyone with an interest in the 1960s era of space exploration, or modern Naval history, or science and technology in general, will enjoy reading it.

For a limited time, the photo-rich book will be sold through the Ship's Store exclusively to benefit the USS Hornet Museum. Each book purchased from the museum will be signed by the author. Those who pre-order now will receive a USS Hornet 2009 Calendar with their order. Books will ship within 10 days of order.

Fish will also be signing his book in person during the upcoming Splashdown 2009 celebration July 23-26 honoring the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.

"The USS Hornet became a Registered National Landmark largely because of its key role in the amazing space race of the 1960s," wrote Fish on the USS Hornet Web site. "Hornet recovered the first two lunar landing missions - Apollo 11 and Apollo 12.

"As the Apollo curator, I wanted to create broader public awareness of the important role played by the U.S. Navy in supporting the space race of the 1960s. It is significant to remember the men who participated in the 31 recoveries of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo flights were also fighting a hot war in Vietnam and a Cold War across the oceans of the world," he continued.

"Apollo 11 was the first time mankind walked on another planetary body and its recovery was the most complex of the entire space program. It was the inauguration of the 'moon germ' quarantine process; it was the only time a President of the U.S. personally participated in a recovery; and the world spotlight of media attention shone brighter than at any other time."

Read more about the book at this site

— Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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