The day of the moon landing on July 21, 1969, (Vietnam time) I, was stationed in DiAn Vietnam with the 1st Signal Brigade, 595 Signal Company Spt. We supported the Big Red One Infantry Division in DiAn Vietnam. I had to work 12 hours the day of the landing so I copied Armed Forces Vietnam Network’s radio broadcast of the landing on the moon with Neil Armstrong. I still have that recording on my tape player and have since made a CD of the recording that I play in my truck. I have also donated a copy to The Ohio Historical Connection in Columbus and The Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta. I am sending a copy of my recording to Japan to be included in the AFVN Museum as I have the only copy of the broadcast of the moon landing. AFVN never kept copies of their broadcasts. Over 500,000 troops listened to this broadcast over the AFVN radio.
I guess you could say, I enjoyed history back in my early days of my life as well as now.
Sgt. Dennis L. Morrison, Bluffton
595 Signal Co.
Di An Vietnam ‘68-‘69
The Myers family was on their yearly vacation at Boot Lake in the U.P. of Michigan. Grandpa, Thomas H. Myers, worked at Westinghouse and he and a group of men had worked on the wiring and etc. of this space program.
Needless to say we were all huddled; Grandpa Tom, Grandma Merl, Dan, Louise, Bill, Mike, Connie and Tommy around the black and white 24-inch TV. Which I might add had it’s liberal amount of “snow.” But we could still see! The tension could have been cut with a knife.
The quarters were tight but we all managed to see around Grandpa. He was a nervous wreck. It worked and yes, there was much screaming and tears. It just didn’t seem possible that such an insignificant group of people i.e., Westinghouse in Lima, & Neil Armstrong of Wapak, could mean so much to the USA and the world. It just goes to show that this is what America is made up of — US! That’s what puts the US in the USA — all of us.
Many of the “us’s” in the Myers family are gone now, but thank God for the part we played and still play in this great country.
Louis Myers, Cairo
And there I was at 10 years old, not really having any idea the importance of what was about to happen.
It was July 20, 1969. My family had taken a summer vacation fishing trip to Bobcaygeon, Canada, a small town just North of Toronto. It was mid-afternoon and all the adults had come in off the lake from fishing that morning. For the kids, that was always a fun time because we got to go into town and get ice cream.
As we were walking around the small community of Bobcaygeon, we noticed a gathering outside the only hardware store in town. This hardware store was the only store that sold TVs (black and white). My family joined the group to see that they were watching this amazing adventure into space.
As we stood there and talked to the people about what was happening, we shared with them that we were from Lima, which was just a few miles away from the home of astronaut Neil Armstrong. It was at that point the Canadian people treated us like we were of utmost importance. They moved us to the front of the store so we would have the best view. It was at that time when I heard those words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
I knew that the world had changed, and that I had seen such an amazing part of history!
Ronald D. Davis, Lima
I was 18 years old, two weeks till I turned 19. I was sitting on a chopper pad in Cu Chi, Vietnam, listening on a transistor radio of the moon landing. We were waiting for the Hueys to pick us up for a search and destroy mission when Neil stepped on the moon. All the guys gave me a hard time because they knew I was from Wapakoneta. I was really proud that day even though I was 15,000 miles from my home town. Hard to believe it has been 50 years.
John H. Johnson, Lima
What was a proud Wapakoneta girl like me doing in Amsterdam on July 20, 1969? It all started when Spanish teacher Mrs. Jan Smith announced in the fall of 1968 she was leading a three-week trip to Europe in the summer of 1969. I was a junior at Wapakoneta High School who loved travel and languages, and was fortunate enough to register for the trip. Little did we know that Wapakoneta native Neil Armstrong would have a big trip in the summer of 1969 also. When he was chosen for the moon project and the date was during our trip, I was so disappointed I would miss the hometown excitement. The three adults and 17 students from Wapak watched the moon landing on a TV in an Amsterdam hotel in the early morning hours of July 21 and followed the news of the safe landing back on earth from West Germany. I collected newspapers and magazines of the coverage, eventually donating them to the Armstrong museum. I did get to march with the band in the homecoming parade that September.
Meanwhile, my parents and little sister had a lot of excitement back in Wapak. Trucks from the three networks and news sources from around the world descended on Wapak and in our neighborhood, where Steve and Viola Armstrong, Neil’s parents, lived. They invited neighbors into their home to watch with them as Neil landed safely on Earth. Steve passed out cigars and said, “It’s a boy — safely returned!” That cigar remains a family treasure.
Nancy Geren Carter, Wapakoneta
In July 1969 I was a 25-year-old LTJG in the U.S. Navy assigned as a Communications Officer to Destroyer Flotilla Five Headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This was well before the current forms of instant communication existed — a time when the one NFL game we got to see on television each Sunday was a full week old because the 16 mm film of the contest had to be flown to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland before it could be shown on the Honolulu TV station.
As the July 20 moon landing approached, I decided to spend much more than my budget allowed on a brand new 13-inch portable color television set so I could see the historic event in the best possible way. As my family and I enjoyed the color-splashed network coverage leading up to the landing, I was thrilled I had made such an investment.
Then came the moment of truth. The feed from the moon was right there on the screen. Neil Armstrong was making his “one giant leap for mankind.” And we saw it all —in good old black and white. It seems technology was not capable yet of producing a color signal from the moon! But my investment wasn’t a total waste. A couple of months later in my base housing living room, there were my childhood favorite Washington Redskins taking on the division-rival New York Giants in living color, albeit seven days after they had actually played.
Mike Mullen, Lima
On July 20, 1969, the Cody Miller family — Cody, Nedra, Kay, Gay and Beth — were all packed into a Pontiac sedan on a hill top in Nebraska during a driving rainstorm listening through the static as the countdown for the Eagle’s landing on the moon. “The Eagle has landed!” Four famous words … and all Americans could breathe again.
Nedra Miller, Lima