A native of California and a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering, Captain John W. Young has distinguished himself as a United States Navy pilot and astronaut and through his service to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. After earning his wings, he flew Cougars and Crusaders, completed U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, evaluated weapons systems, and set world "time-to-climb" records to 3,000 and 25,000 meter altitudes in the Phantom fighter before being selected as an astronaut in 1962. Captain Young became the first person to fly in space six times, including a lunar exploration mission, Apollo 16. During this assignment, he and another astronaut collected 200 pounds of rocks and drove the lunar rover more than 16 miles while on the moon. Captain Young served as Chief of the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office in 1973 and as Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1974 to 1987. After 25 years of service, he retired from the Navy in 1976 with the rank of Captain, but continued to serve his country in important NASA positions. From May, 1987 to February, 1996, he served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center for Engineering, Operations, and Safety and then assumed the position of Associate Director (Technical) with responsibility for technical, operational, and safety oversight of all agency programs assigned to the Center. He has logged more than 14,000 hours flying time in props, jets, helicopters, rocket jets and spacecraft, including 835 hours on six space flights. The recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, 4 honorary doctorate degrees, and more than 75 other major awards, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988.
For service to his country as a naval officer and astronaut and for his contributions to the advancement of travel in space, Captain John W. Young was enshrined in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 21, 2001.