One of the bravest of the brave--Joe Albert Walker
He was one of twelve pilots who flew the North American X-15, an experimental spaceplane jointly operated by the Air Force and NASA.
Walker was one of those who 'broke the sky' and was a valiant test pilot.
There are many accounts of his fateful death. The general public is not aware of Walker and the many others who sacrificed so much.
Walker was killed on June 8, 1966, when his F-104 Starfighter chase aircraft collided with a North American XB-70 Valkyrie.]
At an altitude of about 25,000 ft, his F-104 drifted into contact with the XB-70's right wingtip. The F-104 flipped over, and, rolling inverted, passed over the top of the XB-70, striking both its vertical stabilizers and its left wing in the process, and exploded. The Valkyrie entered an uncontrollable spin and crashed into the ground north of Barstow, California, killing co-pilot Carl Cross. Its pilot, Alvin White, one of Walker's colleagues from the Man In Space Soonest program, ejected and was the sole survivor.
We honor him and the many others who went to the limit.