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Thomas Patten Stafford was born in 1930, in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
He entered the Air Force Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1958
Later to become one of the most experienced of the Apollo era astronauts, he flew two Gemini and two Apollo missions. On Gemini 6 he flew with Wally Schirra conducting the first rendezvous of two separate spacecrafts and on Gemini 9 he was the commander with Eugene Cernan rendezvousing with an Agena target vehicle. On Apollo 10 he went to the moon with John Young and Eugene Cernan without landing and flew the Apollo Soyuz Test Project as the commander with Vance Brand and Deke Slayton in 1975 on the last Apollo mission.
Overall he has more than 6,800 flying hours.
Among numerous awards, in 2011, Stafford was awarded the National Aeronautic Association Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the most prestigious honor in aviation, which is presented annually to a living American for “significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”
He also has acted and appeared in The Apollo Years (2009), Apollo Soyuz (1975) and Houston We’ve Got a Problem (1974).
Stafford’s first wife was Faye L. Shoemaker. They had two daughters, Dionne Kay, and Karin Elaine. He later married Linda Ann Dishman. They have two sons, Michael Thomas, and Stanislav “Stas” Patten. Linda has two children from a previous marriage, Kassie Neering and Mark Hill.
3701 S. Lake Hefner, Oklahoma City, OK
Medium type: Bronze
Date created: 1987