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.

Don Blair

Radio Broadcaster Don Blair portrait_Apollo 11 correspondent.jpg

"Don always broadcast from the Navy’s Primary Recovery Ship and witnessed the splashdown and recovery of Gemini 9, 10 and 11 as well as Apollo 11 and 15."

Don Blair’s career in radio and television broadcasting began in 1955. He spent his first 10 years working in both mediums in the Hartford, Connecticut area. He was involved with both popular radio and television news, sports and weather from the early to the mid-1960’s.

Blair became a network radio news correspondent in late 1965. Until 1972, he was a correspondent with the Mutual Radio Network in New York City handling NASA space mission recoveries as a specialty. Don always broadcast from the Navy’s Primary Recovery Ship and witnessed the splashdown and recovery of Gemini 9, 10 and 11 as well as Apollo 11 and 15. He was later a correspondent with WCBS, NewsRadio 88; ABC Radio’s Entertainment Radio Network and the NBC Radio Network.

Don has written and delivered an estimated 25,000 newscasts during his 25-year career with all four radio networks in NYC.  None, however, were more challenging nor important as his performance as the only radio voice to the world for the Pacific splashdown of Apollo 11. On July 24, 1969, one of the largest radio audiences of all time listened intently while Don broadcast details of the recovery operation as it unfolded.

Don Blair during his live worldwide radio broadcast of the Apollo 11 splashdown and recovery event

Don Blair during his live worldwide radio broadcast of the Apollo 11 splashdown and recovery event

In January, 1981 he was involved with a rather incredible scoop within the news media. He anchored, from New York, the bulletin by NBC’s bureau chief in London, Fred Kennedy, about the imminent release of the American hostages held in Iran for over 440 days. He continues to give lectures aboard passenger cruise ships to educate people about the many world events he has witnessed.

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