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Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin , Jr.

Date of birth: January 20, 1930
Place of Birth: New Jersey, Glen Ridge

Edwin Aldrin legally changed his name to "Buzz Aldrin". He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1951, graduating third in his class. During the Korean War he was credited with shooting down two enemy aircraft in aerial combat, and destroying a third aircraft on the ground. During his subsequent service as a NASA astronaut, he became the second person to walk on the moon.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal to Colonel Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for an exceptionally outstanding achievement in a position of great responsibility as Astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, during the period 16 July 1969 to 24 July 1969. During this period he served as Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo XI spacecraft. This mission successfully landed the first earthman on the moon, culminating in man's ages-old desire to travel to other planets. Colonel Aldrin overcame all obstacles encountered in the new and strange lunar environment and with painstaking thoroughness and great physical effort successfully completed his assigned mission. He deployed a solar wind composition experiment, conducted an extensive evaluation of lunar environment, set up various experiments to remain behind on the moon's surface, and collected lunar samples for scientific evaluation upon return to earth. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Aldrin reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: July 16 - 24, 1969

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal to Colonel Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States from 1 June 1951 to 29 February 1972. Colonel Aldrin demonstrated remarkable skill and bravery as a combat pilot in the Korean War. He later completed an arduous technical program and obtained the degree of Doctor of Science and Astronautics. Colonel Aldrin's outstanding and dedicated efforts gave direction to the National Space Program and resulted in the development of vastly improved orbital rendezvous and lunar descent procedures. These efforts were instrumental in the accomplishment of the national objective of landing men on the moon and culminated in his being second man to set foot on the lunar surface. His contributions to the space shuttle and space station programs have also played a significant role in formulating advanced mission planning for those important programs. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Aldrin culminate a distinguished career in the service of his country and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: June 1, 1951 - February 29, 1972

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Legion of Merit

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as an Astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration while assigned to the 1st United States Air Force Special Activities Squadron, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, from 15 January 1964 to 30 April 1971. During this period, the leadership, diligence, and perseverance displayed by Colonel Aldrin in the areas of mission planning and orbital rendezvous were of major importance in the success of the GEMINI and APOLLO space programs. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Aldrin reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Orders GB-284 (May 24, 1971)

Action Date: January 15, 1964 - April 30, 1971

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 14 May 1953 over North Korea, as Pilot of an F-86 type aircraft, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force. Lieutenant Aldrin was flying number three position in a flight of six F-86s along the Yalu River. Lieutenant Aldrin observed a flight of two enemy MiG-15 through a hole in the clouds below. Simultaneously, with his calling out the MiGs, Lieutenant Aldrin dove to the attack, when within two thousand feet he fired one burst upon the wing of the MiG on the right. Realizing he was closing fast Lieutenant Aldrin withheld fire until he was within one thousand feet. Firing again he observed many good hits on the fuselage and the right wing. The MiG pulled up, smoking, into a thin spot in the overcast. Lieutenant Aldrin had to open his speed brakes to keep from overrunning the MiG. Firing again, pieces were seen to come off the MiG and a greater volume of smoke poured from the tail section. Lieutenant Aldrin continued to fire until the pilot ejected. Turning South, Lieutenant Aldrin and his wingman saw the MiG pilot's parachute open. Because of his superior gunnery, airmanship and ability to take instant advantage of an opportunity, Lieutenant Aldrin has been credited with one MiG-15 destroyed. By this action, Lieutenant Aldrin has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 5th Air Force, General Orders No. 430 (June 24, 1953)

Action Date: 14-May-53

Service: Air Force

Rank: First Lieutenant

Regiment: 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, from 11 November 1966 to 15 November 1966. During this period, he served as Pilot on spacecraft Gemini-Titan 12, completing 59 revolutions of the earth in an elapsed time of 94 hours and 34 minutes. During this mission, he logged more extra-vehicular activity time than any other man; a 2 hour and 27 minute stand-up extra-vehicular activity; a 2 hour and 8 minute umbilical extra-vehicular activity, and another 51 minute stand-up extra-vehicular activity for a total of 5 hours and 26 minutes. He completed all 19 assigned extra-vehicular activity tasks. In addition, his crew was successful in completing 14 scientific and medical experiments and the highly successful rendezvous and docking with a target vehicle. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Aldrin reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: November 11 - 15, 1966

Service: Air Force

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel