Out Of This World Facts About Astronaut John Glenn

Astronaut John Herschel Glenn Jr. is an American hero who did some incredible things during his lifetime. A pilot, astronaut, engineer, and politician (among other things), Glenn served his country for decades, both in space and on land, before passing away at 95 years old

In addition to making the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States, Glenn is credited with several other “firsts.” He was one of NASA’s first astronauts as well as the first American to orbit Earth. Check out some incredible facts about Glenn that you may not know.

He Flew 149 Combat Missions & Received Numerous Medals

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Bettmann, contributor, Getty Images
Bettmann, contributor, Getty Images

Pictured here is Major Glenn of the USMC posing in the cockpit of an F-8 Fighter. He quit college to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the start of World War II. He then enlisted as a U.S. Navy aviation cadet. During the war he received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 10 Air Medals.

He also served in the Korean War, and in total Glenn flew in 149 combat missions. He was struck by enemy fire on 12 different occasions. For his service in Korea, he received two more Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight more Air Medals. He also received numerous other medals.