Splashdown 45 - USS Hornet Museum Celebrates Apollo 11 Anniversary

Honoring the Past… Inspiring the Future…

This site is devoted to the public commemoration of the Apollo 11 moon mission --  the first time humans walked on the moon and their safe recovery by the aircraft carrier USS Hornet upon their return to Earth. Visit here for the latest updates and information about the special guests, schedule of events, exhibits and activities, ticket packages, and more.

Clarence (Clancy) Hatleberg

Apollo 11 Swimmer Recovery Team Leader Clancy Hatleberg portrait.jpg

"During the Apollo 11 recovery mission in 1969, Clancy was the overall Swimmer Recovery Team leader and also served as the decontamination swimmer."

Clancy Hatleberg graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965 and eventually earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1978 and J.D. and MBA degrees from the University of San Diego in 1985.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1985 as a Naval Special Warfare and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer. He had many different assignments as a commissioned officer, including Executive and Commanding Officer positions within the Naval Special Warfare community.

During the Apollo 11 recovery mission in 1969, Clancy was the overall Swimmer Recovery Team leader and also served as the decontamination swimmer. As such, he was responsible for providing the first line of defense in preventing potential contamination of the earth by lunar pathogens that may have been brought back by the astronauts. After leaping into the sea from the recovery helicopter, he performed the spacecraft and astronaut decontamination activities while being in a biological isolation garment, or BIG suit, himself.

UDT Team Leader Clancy Hatleberg jumps from Helo #66 during a Simulated Recovery Exercise (SIMEX) in preparation for the Apollo 11 recovery just days later.

UDT Team Leader Clancy Hatleberg jumps from Helo #66 during a Simulated Recovery Exercise (SIMEX) in preparation for the Apollo 11 recovery just days later.

Clancy was the first human to welcome these pioneer Apollo 11 moon walkers—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins— back to Earth.

After leaving the Navy, Clancy pursued a science and technology career with defense contractors such as Advanced Technology, SAIC, Cray, Silicon Graphics, QinetiQ NA, and now mfusion. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for various educational research laboratories, including the Southwest Regional Laboratory, Far West Laboratory, and West Ed from 1988-2005. In addition, he was an adjunct faculty member for various West Coast Colleges and Universities from 1985-2005 where he taught College Algebra, Calculus, and undergraduate engineering courses.

The USS Hornet Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and a registered State and National Historic Landmark. 
The Museum's official website is www.uss-hornet.org.
USS HORNET MUSEUM • 707 W. Hornet Ave, Pier 3 • Alameda, CA 94501 • (510) 521-8448