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From the White Mountains to the stars: Part I

Yesterday, I had a posting half-written. It was about the U.S. Navy choosing to honor one of New Hampshire's proudest sons, Alan B. Shepard of Derry, by naming a ship in his honor.

Shepard was a distinguished Navy pilot who was one of the original "Magnificent Seven" astronauts. He was the first American to travel into space, and later commanded the Apollo 14 mission to the moon (where he became the first -- and only -- man to golf on on the moon).

Growing up, I felt a special connection to Shepard. I lived in a small town not too far from Warren, New Hampshire, and Warren't most distinguishable landmark is the Warren Missile. We joked about it being a real weapon, ready to obliterate our rival towns should they defeat us in basketball, but it was a genuine Redstone missile (hollowed out, of course) that a Shepard supporter had bought and brought to town, where it was erected in the tiny town square. (If you're looking at a map, it's at the intersection of Route 25 and 25C.) My first girlfriend was a Warren girl, and the first time I went to her house, I met her at the Missile so she could guide me the rest of the way. (Well, she got stuck at the hairdresser's, so that was where I met her mother, but that's another story.)

I found a site that features a PDF version of a brochure on the Warren Missile, as well as some halfway-decent photos of the landmark. The links to the photos are broken, but Casey Bisson has assembled a Flickr gallery.

Comments (2)

Well, not exactly the first... (Below threshold)

Well, not exactly the first "ship". The US Naval Academy crew rows an eight-oared shell named after Shepard, who rowed for at least his plebe (or doolie) year. Seen many times at Eastern Sprint regattas...

Terry, the distinction I've... (Below threshold)

Terry, the distinction I've always heard is that if it's designed to be picked up and carried on another vessel, it's a boat. Otherwise, it's a ship. So I feel pretty safe saying the shell you cited was a boat, not a ship.

Unless, of course, the plebes are really, really rotten sailors, and you're going to argue the "submarines are boats" exception...


(And no, the USS Cole is not now a boat. It wasn't designed to be carried, it just happened to be carried -- and even then it took some work.)






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