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.
|Born:||July 27, 1928, Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|Service/branch:||United States Air Force|
|Years of service:||1950–1978|
|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.
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.
He and astronomer William C. White teamed up on Project Stargazer in December of 1960.
He was born in Tampa, Florida.
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