Interview of John Glenn by Brien Williams (Session 7)

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Senator Glenn summarizes his experiences during World War II. He states that in comparison to later wars, the vast majority of Americans supported the war because the enemy had territorial ambitions. He talks about his patriotic feelings towards the war effort and what he describes as his God-given talents that led him to become a successful fighter pilot. He discusses the fatalism of some fighter pilots during the war, which leads into a discussion about the concept of predestination as taught by some fundamentalist Presbyterian teachings. Glenn goes on to talk about his assignment to the Navy Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland after his return from overseas duty. Former combat pilots were assigned to the test center to put as many flight hours as possible, in as little time as possible, on new, experimental aircraft. Glenn talks about the enjoyment he had in flying a variety of new, high-performance aircraft and offers a number of stories about what happened to various pilots and aircraft during his approximately three-month assignment at the test center.


Interview conducted in the Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C.


Summary of World War II experience, First test pilot assignment