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Choctaw man by the name of Bill Pogue is more likely first American Indian in space

Dear Editor,

My name is Patrick Kennedy, I am a proud citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. I spent 22 years as an Aircraft Flight Mechanic, and even had the honor of working on a subcontract, building the large Fuel Tank Panels for the Space Shuttle Program.

I have always been proud of American Indian achievements, and am proud of my fellow tribal member John Herrington's accomplishments in the space program, and would never try to take any of his wonderful accomplishments away.

However I wonder How and Why he is reported to be the “First” American Indian in Space, when in fact a Choctaw man who could have Chickasaw ties, by the name of Bill Pogue was chosen by NASA in 1966 to be in the Space program and piloted the “longest recorded space flight” in 1973 – on Skylab 4, and then was inducted into the “Five Civilized Tribes Hall of Fame” in 1975.

It would seem to me that someone missed the mark or did not check out their information thoroughly before making Mr. Herrington the First American Indian in Space when that is obviously false. I am including a bio from NASA about Mr. Pogue. I wonder how his family feels about this?

Again I am not trying to take anything away from Mr. Herrington but I believe the “Truth” needs to be told.

Thank You.

Respectfully Patrick K. Kennedy

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