SCHIRRA, DOUGLAS F3D, AND THE SIDEWINDER.
LEYDENFROST, ALEXANDER, artist. Douglas F3D Skyknights in flight over a bombed factory, oil on canvas, 20 x 31 inches, signed lower left.
Prior to his NASA career, Schirra served in the Navy and as a test pilot. At China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station, in California, he tested weapons systems such as the Sidewinder missile. During one flight, he fired a Sidewinder and the missile "doubled back" and started to chase his jet. Schirra, through skillful flying, avoided the Sidewinder.
INSCRIBED by WALLY SCHIRRA "Wally Schirra, 1952 - first kill with Sidewinder at China Lake (kill was a B-17!)"
- This painting appeared in the 1964 Burt Lancaster motion picture Seven Days in May.