Mississippi-born Dick Truly received a degree in aeronautical engineering and a commission as ensign through the Naval ROTC Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1959. Graduating from naval flight training in 1960, he flew F-8 Crusaders aboard the USS Intrepid and the USS Enterprise, accumulating more than 300 carrier landings. He also conducted missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Entering the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School as a student in 1963, Truly soon became a flight test instructor after graduation. In 1965, selected as an astronaut in the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program, he was responsible for flight crew simulator development and spacecraft cockpit design. In 1960, Astronaut Truly joined NASA to work in the Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and space shuttle programs. He first flew aboard the space shuttle proof-of-concept vehicle Enterprise as a test pilot during the Boeing 747-launched approach and landing test flights in 1977. In 1982, he was mission pilot aboard the shuttle Columbia, and the following year he led his crew as mission commander aboard the shuttle Challenger. Admiral Truly was tapped by the Chief of Naval Operations to become the first commander of the Naval Space Command, created in 1983. During his tenure (1983-1986), he oversaw training and development of all naval communications and navigation satellite operations. Summoned back to NASA in 1986 and charged with rebuilding the space shuttle program after the Challenger mishap, he accomplished his mission, culminating with the successful launch of Discovery in 1988. He was appointed by President George Bush to be the administrator of NASA, a post he held until 1992. Awards and Decorations: Presidential Citizen's Medal, Legion of Merit (2), Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, NASA Distinguished Medal (2) and Exceptional Service Medal (2), Space Flight Medal (2), and Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
Vice Admiral Richard H. “Dick” Truly, USN (Ret.) fighter pilot, NASA pioneer, and astronaut, was enshrined May 6, 1995.