Charles (Pete) Conrad

It was a shock to hear of Pete Conrads death from a motorcycle accident. However, it would have been a greater shock to hear of Pete dying of old age in his sleep.

I had the benefit of working for Pete when he was Vice President of Marketing at the Douglas Aircraft Company. At the start, I did not know if it would be a benefit or not. Pete came across at the start, as arrogant. This probably lost him the opportunity to be the first on the moon, but he assuredly deserved to be the second Commander on the moon. NASA wanted the "Lindbergh" image for the first landing, which they got in Neil Armstrong. When you get to know Pete, this seemingly show of arrogance quickly changes to a knowledge that he is confident in himself and what he can do.

Pete was always prepared to assist in a sale if his presence would be of an advantage, realizing that many people wanted to know a man that had walked on the moon. Petes capabilities ranged beyond the moon landing image. He was able to assist in many areas of marketing, from the handshake to answers of technical questions.

I use to tell Pete that with 25,000 people and twenty-five billion dollars, he was able to walk on the moon. After getting to know Pete, I am not so sure that it would have taken that many people and that much money, if they had planned the program around Petes capabilities. I can see him at Kitty Hawk when Orville and Wilbur were ready to fly for the first time. He would have said to them, "If you let me fly your airplane, I will get you an additional 100 feet," and he would have.

Pete presenting my twenty-five year pin.