Joseph Kittinger

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Pilot
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth July 27, 1928
Place of Birth Tampa, Florida
Age 92 years old
Horoscope Leo

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Joseph Kittinger

Colonel Joseph William Kittinger II is a retired officer in the United States Air Force and a Command Pilot. His initial operational assignment was in fighter aircraft, then he participated in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior high altitude balloon flight projects from 1956 to 1960, setting a world record for the highest skydive from a height greater than 19 miles. He was also the first man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon, and the first man to fully witness the curvature of the earth. Kittinger served as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, and he achieved an aerial kill of a North Vietnamese MiG-21 jet fighter and was later shot down himself, spending 11 months as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese prison. He participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator in 2012 at age 84, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 24-mile freefall from Earth's stratosphere.

Nickname(s): Red
Born: July 27, 1928, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Service/branch: United States Air Force
Years of service: 1950–1978
Rank: Colonel
Battles/wars: Vietnam War
Awards: Silver Star (2), Legion of Merit (2), Distinguished Flying Cross (6), Bronze Star (Valor) (3), Purple Heart (2), Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (24), Prisoner of War Medal

About Joseph Kittinger

U.S. Air Force pilot who famously took part in Project Excelsior and Project Manhigh and set skydiving and balloon records.

Before Fame

He served during the Vietnam War as a fighter pilot and spent nearly a year as a prisoner-of-war after his plane was shot down by the North Vietnamese.

Achievement

He and astronomer William C. White teamed up on Project Stargazer in December of 1960.

Family Life

He was born in Tampa, Florida.

Associations

He was involved in the 2012 Red Bull Stratos project as a director of daredevil Felix Baumgartner's historic free fall.

Information related to Joseph Kittinger

  • Parachuting - Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent using a parachute or parachutes.
  • Space diving
  • Aviators from Florida
  • American motorboat racers
  • American skydivers
  • American balloonists
  • Flight altitude record holders
  • Vietnam War prisoners of war
  • Air War College alumni
  • American torture victims
  • National Aviation Hall of Fame inductees
  • Shot-down aviators
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Latest information about Joseph Kittinger updated on January 18, 2021.

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