Lieutenant General Thomas Stafford, is a decorated astronaut, leader and pioneer. He is a former Air Force officer, test pilot and NASA astronaut, not to mention one of 24 people to reach the Moon.
According to staffordmuseum.org, General Stafford was born in 1930 in Weatherford, Oklahoma. In a town with only 2,000 people Weatherford was a progressive community rearing towards families. Thomas Stafford at just 5 years old, saw a DC-3 airplane flying over him and was instantly mesmerized by aviation. He looked up at the sky and said “I want to do that!” And at 14 years old, he made his first flight in a Piper Club airplane. He received his pilot wings in Waco, Texas in 1953. He was then commissioned by the United States Air Force. By 1962 he was chosen to participate in projects, Gemini and Apollo for NASA.
General Stafford was the leading member of the group which helped the sequence of missions leading to the first lunar landing missions. In May 1969, he was the commander of Apollo 10 and performed the first rendezvous around the moon and designed the first lunar landing site. This mission was the final dress rehearsal for a lunar landing which happened just 2 months later by Neil Armstrong and his crew. General Stafford was cited in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest speed ever attained by a man which achieved 24,791 statute miles per hour. This record still holds to this day.
Being a member of the crew on four historic NASA missions in space that led the way for further space exploration. His fourth and last mission in 1975 included the historic space meeting and handshake between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts. By the end of his career he had logged 507 hours and 43 minutes and flight time in space. After retiring in 1979, he worked as an advisor to the Space Station Freedom which is now known as the International Space Station.
On August 12, 2022 we had the honor of having General Stafford at our NorthPark location for an OMEGA Event. We want to thank the OMEGA team for setting up a fantastic event for the BC Clark Family. And a very special thank you to General Stafford for coming out to join us. A once in a lifetime opportunity to meet an Oklahoma Hero.