Bio: Oestreich, Arnold – S/Sgt. (Apollo 13 Involvement – 1970)


Surnames: Oestreich

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 25 Jun 1970

The flight of Apollo 13 is now history, but to a Loyal (Clark Co., Wis.) serviceman its flight will be long remembered, since he had a part in it.

S/Sgt. Arnold Oestreich, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Oestreich, Loyal, is a loadmaster on an Air Force C-141 Starliner, stationed at Norton Air Force Base, California. It was his aircraft that was assigned the responsibility of delivering the astronauts, Lovell, Swigert and Haise, from the Pago Pago, American Samoa, to the Hawaiian Islands and their meeting with President Nixon.

The assignment called for them to arrive at Honolulu International Airport just minutes after President Nixon arrived in Air Force One. This sounds simple enough, yet they departed Norton Air Force Base and stopped briefly at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, to refuel and on to Pago Page. Here they waited for the helicopter to deliver their "cargo" from the aircraft carrier Iwo Jima. The plane left shortly after the astronauts arrived and the trip back across the Pacific was uneventful, except for several changes in their flight plan. This was no cause for alarm for the Norton Base crew, as they simply throttle back and enjoyed the extra flying time with their precious cargo.

While in flight the crew of the plane gave the astronauts the "red carpet" with Sgt. Oestreich serving a steak lunch.

Also, on board was Rear Admiral Donald David, commander of Pacific Manned Spacecraft Recovery Forces.

Following the visit with President Nixon, the crew had one more leg in their mission – to deliver the astronauts to Houston Manned Space Center, which was also completed without incident.

Delivering their "Cargo" at Houston, the aircraft and  its crew returned to Norton Air Force Base to complete their assignment.  Awaiting their arrival was another crew ready to take the aircraft to another part of the world in the never ending role of the Military Airlift Command.



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