Reading the obits, I found myself struck by one fact--of which, I confess, I'd been completely unaware: As a naval aviator during the Korean War, Neil Armstrong flew seventy-eight combat missions.
During one mission, his plane, flying low, clipped a cable that the North Koreans had strung across a valley as a kind of booby trap, forcing Armstrong to bail out. He narrowly missed landing in Wonson Habor, which the North Koreans were then mining, drifting instead toward a U.S. Marine base, the wind very likely saving his life.
Seventy-eight missions. He may have been unassuming, the very model of the quiet and fastidious engineer. But Neil Armstrong was also one tough hombre.