Attractive partly-printed document, one page, 13.75 x 10.75, April 7, 1970. A rare Shellback certificate issued to P. H. Kruppenbacher, which is signed in the upper portion in black felt tip by Apollo 13 astronauts Fred Haise and James Lovell, with the latter signing twice. The certificate, in part: "To all sailors wherever ye may be, and to all Mermaids, Whales, Sea Serpents, Porpoises, Sharks, Dolphins, Eels, Skates, Suckers, Crabs, Lobsters and all other Living Things of the Sea, Greetings. Know ye: That on this 7th day of Apr. 1970, in Latitude 0˚0´0″ and Longitude 164˚25W, there appeared within Our Royal Domain the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2 bound for the equator and for Apollo 13 Recovery…And be it known: By all ye Sailors, Marines, Land Lubbers and other who may be honored by his presence that P. H. Kruppenbacher having been found worthy to be numbered as one of our trusty Shellbacks has been duly initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of Deep." Lower portion bears printed signatures of Davey Jones, Neptunus Rex, and Captain L. E. Kirkemo, and the original gold foil seal of the USS Iwo Jima. Framed to a slightly larger size. In fine condition.
Accompanied by a replica “Presidential Medal of Freedom” certificate presented by President Richard Nixon to “The Apollo XIII Mission Operations Team,” with preprinted Nixon signature below. The certificate is framed with a caption, which states: “This is a copy of the presentation made by President Nixon at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center on April 18, 1970. This duplicate presented to Capt. Paul H. Kruppenbacher, USAF, of the Mission Operations Team, by Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, Director.” From the personal collection of Paul Kruppenbacher, a member of the NASA Houston Landing and Recovery Division who trained Apollo astronauts in water recovery procedures and was deployed on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers for crew and spacecraft recovery operations.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.