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Photographer Milt Putnam - Apollo 11 Recovery Interview

October 1, 2019 - Posted in History by Andrew Davis

On the evening of Thursday, July 25, the South Carolina State Museum hosted a special screening of Robert Stone's "Chasing The Moon."  Museum guests, and members of the SCETV Endowment alike came to see this special screening, and took advantage of the opportunity to speak with several guests of honor, including astronaut Charlie Duke.  Earlier that afternoon, the museum hosted a meet-and-greet with two extraordinary South Carolinians who actively took part in the Apollo Program.  These two gentlemen - Robert "Bob" Coggin, and Milt Putnam, served in the U.S. Navy, and took part in the recovery operations of several Apollo spacecraft, after they returned from their voyages to the moon. 

Photographer Milt Putnam hails from Seneca, South Carolina. Putnam, who also served in the Vietnam War, was assigned to take official photographs of several Apollo recoveries: Apollo 8, Apollo 10, and Apollo 11. Putnam was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Hornet, and considers himself very fortunate to have been assigned the duty of photographing the recovery of Apollo 11. In this interview, Putnam not only shares his experiences of being a photographer in the U.S. Navy, but also takes viewers through his own account of Apollo 11's recovery, on July 24, 1969. When Putnam woke up the next morning, on July 25, he was astonished to realize that the photographs he took the day prior were being used by newspapers all across the globe. 

 

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