Moon landing shock: Neil Armstrong’s near-death experience in Korean War revealed | Science | News


Almost half a century ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became a worldwide sensation after becoming the first human to step foot on the Moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. The monumental event, which was watched by millions on live TV, brought the world to a standstill as the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle – touched down after a four-day journey through space. Armstrong then made his way onto the lunar surface, shortly followed by his colleague Buzz Aldrin – and delivered his legendary “one small step” speech that marked the end of the Space Race with the Soviet Union. 

However, Armstrong’s selection for Apollo 11 was no mistake, it was revealed during Altitude Film’s new “Armstrong” release.

The film, which was released on July 12, features the astronaut’s memoirs, voiced by Harrison Ford, who says: “I got my wings in August of 1950, so I was then assigned to a jet fighter squadron.

“We immediately prepared for the Korean action. I was very young, very green.

“My job was to support our ground forces, mostly marines. 

“Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of death, I shared tha uneasiness.”

In 1950, the Korean War broke out between North Korea – with the support of China and the Soviet Union – and South Korea  – backed by the United Nations and principally the US. 

On August 29, 1951, Armstrong was sent out in a fighter jet over Songjin, North Korea.

Five days later, on September 3, he flew armed reconnaissance over the primary transportation and storage facilities near Wonsan, North Korea.

During a low-bombing mission, Armstrong’s F9F Panther was hit by anti-aircraft fire and his wing was torn off.

It is believed that his plane came within 20 feet of the ground before he somehow many to fly back into enemy territory and eject safely.

Armstrong’s memoirs noted: “Dear folks, there’s a lot of war to go yet, last Monday, while on armed reconnaissance, I was hit by an enemy anti-aircraft fire.

“I was diving on the target at the time and narrowly averted hitting the ground.

“I hit some electric lines, but I was able to nurse the aircraft back across to friendly territory, where I jumped out.

“No other news right now, same old Neil.”

His bravery and calmness in the face of such a terrifying dilemma is what made his commanding officer – Ernie Beauchamp – change his mind on him completely.

Beauchamp noted during the same film: “Neil was just another name on the list when he came to the squadron. 

“He was quiet and poised and pretty confident. 

“You understand there are going to be casualties when you go so you make most of the adjustments in your mind ahead of time.

“He was just one of the boys until that incident.

“When we started evaluating his decision making, and his skill, that made him head and shoulders above the rest.”



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