About this Famous Person
Former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth
Source : Tim DOWLING
John Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio, to John Herschel Glenn Sr. and Teresa (née Sproat). He was raised in New Concord, Ohio. Glenn studied mathematics at Muskingum College, and received his private pilot's license as physics course credit in 1941. When the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, he dropped out of college and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps; however, the Army did not call him up, and in March 1942 he enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet. He trained at Naval Air Station Olathe, where he made his first solo flight in a military aircraft. During advanced training in 1943 at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, he was reassigned to the United States Marine Corps. After completing his training, Glenn was assigned to Marine squadron VMJ-353, flying R4D transport planes. He eventually managed a transfer to VMF-155 as an F4U Corsair pilot, and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific. He saw action over the Marshall Islands, where he attacked anti-aircraft batteries and dropped bombs on Maloelap. In 1945 he was assigned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, where he was promoted to captain shortly before the war ended. Glenn flew patrol missions in North China with the VMF-218 squadron, until it was transferred to Guam. In 1948 he became a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, then attended the amphibious warfare school and received a staff assignment.
Glenn was next assigned to VMF-311, flying the new F9F Panther jet interceptor. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions during the Korean War, gaining the dubious nickname "magnet ass" from his apparent ability to attract enemy flak. Twice he returned to base with over 250 flak holes in his aircraft. Glenn flew for a time with Ted Williams, a future hall of fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, as his wingman.
- Category Astronaut