FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day May 17th and 18th, 2017

Fireball to Become Jeter’s Angel

The group led by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush to purchase the Miami Marlins for an estimated $1.3 billion have lost an investor.  Bloomberg reported today that an investor who had been in talks to contribute $150 million to the $1.3 billion bid was unable to reconcile the terms of his investment.  When news of their accepted bid was first reported last month, it was said the ownership group included at least five investors. I have decided to step up to the plate and bail Jeter and Jeb out of their predicament.  I have communicated my offer of $1000.00 to make the deal go through.  And while I’ll share it with only Friends of FOD; because Jeter’s number 2 was just retired, I’m willing to go as high as $222.22 over that $1000.00 offer.  I’m only asking for 2.22% ownership, plus two seats in a really good box forever and I’ll also generously agree to be the bat guy when the Yankees come to town.  I’m expecting a reply very soon.  So I’m keeping my phone next to me all night, because I know these kinds of deals require personal involvement to make them happen.

NATO Will Likely Join Anti-ISIS Coalition

One successful item for President Trump will likely be NATO will agree to join the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group referred to as ISIS.  According to Military Times, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Gen. Petr Pavel said Wednesday that “there is a merit for NATO becoming a member of that coalition.”  NATO’s role could include training local forces and helping to build militaries and institutions.  NATO countries do not want the alliance engaged in active combat against Islamic State militants, even though all are individual members of the anti-ISIS coalition.  President Trump is scheduled to meet NATO leaders in Brussels next week.

 

ARMY Special Ops Commander Talks Strategy Looking Forward

Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo the commander of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), (United States Military Academy class of 1983), told Defense News after a speech on Wednesday at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference that key to the strategy is acknowledging the need to figure out how to take all of the capabilities it has built — and become reliant on — over the last 15 years of war and move them into a more “competitive space” against near-peer adversaries.  The command foresees “a future largely dominated by gray zone conflicts where state and non-state actors execute campaigns that stay below the threshold of conventional war in order to achieve their objectives at lower risk of response,” Tovo said during his speech. “We foresee a human domain-centric form of warfare that exploits fissures in the social fabric and weak governance.  And adversaries are becoming far more capable because technology — like cyber tools; unmanned aircraft systems; encrypted communications; position, navigation and timing; and geolocation — is advancing at lightning speed, becoming more widespread and more easily available to buy at low costs,” Tovo said.  (his photo left) “The most revolutionary change on the battlefield in recent years is the “easy availability of knowledge,” he said, “and it’s harder to safeguard secrets.  “Our traditional technological edge on the battlefield is fast fading away,” Tovo said.  [When we have a President who passes on classified information to the Russians, the problem is magnified.]  Some solutions would likely be geared toward development of machine-learning techniques that would help automatically “triage” the vast quantities of intelligence data collected from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms or through publicly available open-source information.  “You’ll never remove the person from the loop, but we’ve got to be able to scope down the problem from what, right now, is way beyond the number of people we can throw it against,” Tovo said.  Adversaries already have advanced cyber and electronic warfare capabilities, and “we will no longer enjoy a battlefield, no matter who we face, where our comms are safe,” he said. “We need to get used to passing traffic in denied environments.”   Overall, most of the systems developed over the years of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations — from communications technology to unmanned aircraft systems — are not designed to go up against near-pear adversaries in denied environments.  The service and special operations, in part, must figure out how to take current capability and make it more survivable, Tovo noted.  But perhaps the solution isn’t to try to harden all of the existing capability, but to go about it in other ways, such as “shrinking the visibility on the battlefield,” Tovo said. While U.S. forces are reliant on large UAS now, perhaps a better approach would be to replace those with a “multitude of throw-away swarms of UAVs,” he said. Who knew, the Army has a smart forward looking leader.

 

“Summer of Comey” Begins

As I mentioned in the most recent edition of FOD, the “Summer of Comey” is about to begin.  And yesterday readers of FOD at Defense News noted, worry the growing controversy over possible Russian ties to the Trump administration is threatening to consume Congress — with federal spending on defense and the GOP’s agenda hanging in the balance.  The political process “will grind to a halt” if Congress does not act soon to have fired FBI Director James Comey testify about U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in the FBI’s Russia investigation, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Graham serves on both the Senate Armed Services and Judiciary committees and chairs the Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee.  And now that Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Bob Mueller to the investigatory role, we’ll see legislation laid low by politics.  And so it begins….

 

 

CNO Urges Bigger Navy Now

Speaking to Defense News from the International Maritime Defense Exposition being held this week in Singapore [in the very region where China is expanding its influence exponentially], Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), (United States Naval Academy class of 1982), (a bubblehead), said, . “We need a bigger fleet, and we also need a different fleet, one that will be able to fight in new ways,” “My sense is that we’re on the dawn of something very substantial in terms of naval warfare. Something as substantial as the transition from sail to steam, as the transition from wood to ironclad, as substantial as the advent of nuclear propulsion in terms of what it means for naval power.”  Richardson (photo right) wouldn’t provide more specifics, but he was adamant about the need to quickly build up the Navy and regain advantages over the rapidly-improving Chinese and Russian navies.  “We need to act urgently to achieve that greater naval power as quickly as we can,” Richardson declared. “We’re going to be targeting something in the mid-2020s. Exponential types of growth, rather than lineal types of growth,  which would achieve this level of power decades beyond the 2020s.” The CNO is rolling out a new Future Navy paper to provide a foundation for the significant increases in naval spending that will be needed to lift the Navy from today’s goal of 310 ships to 355.  “I would challenge the assumption that it takes that long to design and build things,” he said. “The hull and power plant will last ostensibly the life of the ship. But then to design the rest of it, to use the very latest technologies we have now, that’ll be a step forward. But also to step into the future faster, to modernize faster. We’ll be much more modularized, much more compatible. You can iterate your way into the future with faster steps. You’re got part of the ship built to last, and part of the ship that’s built to grow and be modernized.”

 

George Washington Speaks to “Taxation Without Representation”

On May 17, 1769, George Washington brings before the Virginia House of Burgesses (photo lower left) resolutions drafted largely by George Mason in response to England’s passage of the Townshend Acts.  Washington’s political involvement began in 1767, when he first took political stands against the various acts of the British Parliament. He opposed the 1765 Stamp Act, the first direct tax on the colonies imposed by the British Parliament, which included no representatives from the colonies; he began taking a leading role in the growing colonial resistance when protests became widespread against the Townshend Acts (enacted in 1767). In May 1769, he introduced a proposal, drafted by his friend George Mason (below right) calling for Virginia to boycott English goods until the Acts were repealed.  Though Virginia’s royal governor promptly fired back by disbanding the House of Burgesses, the dissenting legislators were undeterred. During a makeshift meeting held at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia’s delegates gave their support to the non-importation resolutions. Maryland and South Carolina soon followed suit with the passing of their own non-importation measures.  The non-importation resolutions lacked any means of enforcement, and Chesapeake tobacco merchants of Scottish ancestry tended to be loyal to their firms in Glasgow. However, the majority of tobacco planters supported the measure, and the mere existence of non-importation agreements proved that the southern colonies were willing to defend Massachusetts, the true target of Britain’s crackdown, where violent protests against the Townshend Acts had led to a military occupation of Boston, beginning on October 2, 1768.  Parliament repealed the Townshend Acts in 1770. Washington regarded the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774 as “an Invasion of our Rights and Privileges.”  He told friend Bryan Fairfax, “I think the Parliament of Great Britain has no more right to put their hands in my pocket without my consent than I have to put my hands into yours for money.” He also said that Americans must not submit to acts of tyranny “till custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves, as the blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway.”  In July 1774, he chaired the meeting at which the “Fairfax Resolves” were adopted, which called for the convening of a Continental Congress, among other things. In August, Washington attended the First Virginia Convention, where he was selected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.

 

 

Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka is Decided

Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court‘s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the Civil Rights Movement, This Kansas case was unique from several other cases that had been addressed in the past by lower courts in that there was no contention of gross inferiority of the segregated schools’ physical plant, curriculum, or staff. The district court found substantial equality as to all such factors. The lower court, in its opinion, noted that, in Topeka, “the physical facilities, the curricula, courses of study, qualification and quality of teachers, as well as other educational facilities in the two sets of schools [were] comparable.” The lower court observed that “colored children in many instances are required to travel much greater distances than they would be required to travel could they attend a white school” but also noted that the school district “transports colored children to and from school free of charge” and that “[n]o such service [was] provided to white children.  The NAACP’s chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall—who was later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967—argued the case before the Supreme Court for the plaintiffs. Assistant Attorney General Paul Wilson—later distinguished emeritus professor of law at the University of Kansas—conducted the state’s ambivalent defense in his first appellate argument.  Conference notes and draft decisions illustrate the division of opinions before the decision was issued.  (photo below of the Warren Court, 1954).  Justices Douglas,  BlackBurton, and Minton were predisposed to overturn PlessyFred M. Vinson noted that Congress had not issued desegregation legislation; Stanley F. Reed discussed incomplete cultural assimilation and states’ rights and was inclined to the view that segregation worked to the benefit of the African-American community; Tom C. Clark wrote that “we have led the states on to think segregation is OK and we should let them work it out.”  Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson disapproved of segregation, but were also opposed to judicial activism and expressed concerns about the proposed decision’s enforceability.  Chief Justice Vinson had been a key stumbling block. After Vinson died in September 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice.  Warren had supported the integration of Mexican-American students in California school systems following Mendez v. Westminster.  While all but one justice personally rejected segregation, the judicial restraint faction questioned whether the Constitution gave the Court the power to order its end. The activist faction believed the Fourteenth Amendment did give the necessary authority and were pushing to go ahead. Warren, who held only a recess appointment, held his tongue until the Senate confirmed his appointment.  Warren convened a meeting of the justices, and presented to them the simple argument that the only reason to sustain segregation was an honest belief in the inferiority of Negroes. Warren further submitted that the Court must overrule Plessy to maintain its legitimacy as an institution of liberty, and it must do so unanimously to avoid massive Southern resistance. He began to build a unanimous opinion.  Although most justices were immediately convinced, Warren spent some time after his argument’s presentation convincing everyone to sign onto the opinion. Justices Jackson and Reed finally decided to drop their dissent. The final decision was unanimous. Warren drafted the basic opinion and kept circulating and revising it until he had an opinion endorsed by all the members of the Court.  Reed was the last holdout and reportedly cried during the reading of the opinion.  The key holding of the Court was that, even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and unconstitutional. They found that a significant psychological and social disadvantage was given to black children from the nature of segregation itself, drawing on research conducted by Kenneth Clark assisted by June Shagaloff. This aspect was vital because the question was not whether the schools were “equal”, which under Plessy they nominally should have been, but whether the doctrine of separate was constitutional. The justices answered with a strong “no”:

 

 

 

USS England Sinks Six Japanese Subs in Twelve Days

USS England (DE-635),  a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Ensign John C. England (1920–1941), who was killed in action aboard the battleship Oklahoma during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. England was launched on 26 September 1943 at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard in San Francisco, California, sponsored by Mrs. H. B. England, mother of Ensign England; and commissioned on 10 December 1943, with Commander W. B. Pendleton in command.  Walton Barclay Pendleton (photo left) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1921.   Her sinking of six Japanese submarines in twelve days is a feat unparalleled in the history of antisubmarine warfare.  Pendleton was awarded the Navy Cross for this feat and was promoted to Commander.

  • I-16: United States Pacific FleetMilitary intelligence decoded a 13 May 1944 message from Japanese submarine I-16 including a scheduled delivery of rice for Japanese troops at Buin on the southern tip of Bougainville IslandEnglandGeorge (DE-697) and Raby (DE-698) were ordered to intercept I-16England detected I-16 during calm, sunny weather on the early afternoon of 18 May 1944.  Multiple Hedgehog mortar attacks were conducted and on the fifth Hedgehog attack at 1433 scored four to six detonations and was followed by a large underwater explosion which lifted England’s fantail and knocked men off their feet. Debris began floating to the surface twenty minutes later. The following day, a three by six-mile oil slick marked the location on the calm surface of the Pacific.
  • RO-106: A 20 May 1944 message was decoded revealing Japanese plans for a submarine trap north of the Admiralty Islands to intercept an anticipated movement of United States aircraft carriers. RO-104RO-105RO-106RO-108RO-109RO-112, and RO-116 of the Japanese seventh submarine squadron formed a patrol line across a route Admiral Halsey had used twice before. George detected RO-106 on radar at 0350 on 22 May, saw the submarine dive when located by searchlight, and missed with a Hedgehog attack at 0415. England regained contact at 0425, missed with one Hedgehog attack, and scored at least three detonations on a second attack at 0501. A large underwater explosion was detected as England prepared to conduct a third attack, and a heavy oil slick with debris was evident after sunrise.
  • RO-104: The three destroyer escorts formed a search line with a scouting interval of 16,000 yards during hours of darkness. Raby detected RO-104 on radar at 0600 on 23 May, made sonar contact at 0610, and missed with four Hedgehog attacks beginning at 0617. George missed with a Hedgehog attack at 0717. George then missed with four more Hedgehog attacks between 0730 and 0810. England then missed with a first Hedgehog attack and scored an estimated ten or twelve detonations on a second Hedgehog attack at 0834. The hits were followed by noises of the submarine breaking up and a large underwater explosion three minutes later. Debris and oil appeared on the surface at 1045.
  • RO-116: George detected RO-116 on radar at 0120 24 May. England made sonar contact at 0150, and scored three to five detonations on the first Hedgehog attack at 0214. Breaking-up noises were not followed by the major explosions noted on earlier sinkings. A small quantity of oil and debris was evident after sunrise at 0702 and the oil slick had expanded to cover several square miles the following day.
  • RO-108: A hunter-killer group consisting of the escort carrier Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) with destroyers Hazelwood (DD-531)Heermann (DD-532)Hoel (DD-533), and McCord (DD-534) arrived on 26 May so the three destroyer escorts could leave to refuel and rearm. The destroyer escorts maintained their search formation en route to ManusRaby detected RO-108 on radar at 2303 26 May. England made radar contact at 2304, sonar contact at 2318, and scored four to six detonations with the first Hedgehog attack. There was no major explosion following the breaking-up noises, but a fountain of oil was observed rising to the surface at dawn.
  • RO-105: The three destroyer escorts reached Manus at 1500 on 27 May. After taking on fuel, provisions, and ammunition, they sailed at 1800 28 May with Spangler (DE-696) to rejoin the search. Hazelwood detected RO-105 on RADAR at 0156 on 30 May and missed with a depth charge  George and Raby joined Hazelwood and made sixteen Hedgehog and depth charge attacks over a period of 25 hours. RO-105 came up for air at 0310 on 31 May and was immediately detected by George and RabyRO-105 stayed directly between the two destroyer escorts for five minutes before submerging so neither Raby nor George could fire without endangering the other. Sequential Hedgehog attacks were then made by RabyGeorgeRaby, and Spangler. All missed. Division Commander Hains then radioed, “Oh, hell. Go ahead, England.”  England then scored six to ten detonations in a Hedgehog attack at 0736. A major explosion followed at 0741 and a fountain of oil and debris appeared on the surface.

USS England in 1944 is pictured above.  This anti-submarine warfare performance was never matched in World War II, and won for England a Presidential Unit Citation, and the assurance from the Chief of Naval OperationsAdmiral E. J. King, “There’ll always be an England in the United States Navy.” His pledge was fulfilled on 6 October 1960, when DLG-22 was assigned the name England.  On 9 May 1945, while on station, England was attacked by three Japanese dive bombers. Her anti-aircraft fire set the first of these flaming, but the plane crashed into England on her starboard side, just below the bridge. The kamikaze pilot had remembered his instructions to knock out the ship’s nerve center and kill as many as possible of her officers. With the bomb of the plane exploding just after the crash, England‘s men began a dangerous race against time, to quench the fires and save their ship, while the combat air patrol shot down the two other attackers. England was able to make Kerama Retto under tow, with 37 of her men killed or missing and 25 wounded.  England sailed on to Leyte, where she received temporary repairs to put her in shape for the long voyage home. On 16 July 1945 she arrived at Philadelphia for permanent repairs and conversion to a High speed transport. The end of the war, however, halted this work. Because of her extensive damage and a surplus of ships of her type, it was decided not to repair her. She was decommissioned on 15 October 1945 and sold for scrapping on 26 November 1946.

 

Memphis Belle Completes 25th Mission

The Memphis Belle, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, was one of the first United States Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The Memphis Belle completed their combat tour of 25 bombing missions over Western Europe with an attack on enemy submarine facilities at St. Nazaire, France. The bomber was a U.S. Army Air Force  Boeing-built B-17F-10-BO, manufacturer’s serial number 3470, USAAC Serial No. 41-24485, assigned to the 324th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Air Force Station 121 (RAF Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England). Captain Robert K. Morgan‘s crew actually flew 29 missions, all but four in the Memphis Belle.  The daylight bombing campaign of Nazi-occupied Europe was extremely dangerous with high losses in both airmen and aircraft. For a bomber crew, 25 combat missions was a complete tour, and they were sent back to the United States for rest and retraining before going on to other assignments. Memphis Belle was only the second B-17 to survive 25 missions, so it was withdrawn from combat and sent back to the United States for a publicity tour.  The aircraft was named after pilot Robert K Morgan’s sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the aircraft Little One, which was his pet name for her, but after Morgan and copilot Jim Verinis saw the movie Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his crew.  Morgan then contacted George Petty at the offices of Esquire magazine and asked him for a pinup drawing to go with the name, which Petty supplied from the magazine’s April 1941 issue.  The 91st’s group artist, Corporal Tony Starcer, copied the Petty girl as art on both sides of the forward fuselage, depicting her suit in blue on the aircraft’s port side and in red on the starboard. The nose art later included 25 bomb shapes, one for each mission credit, and eight swastika designs, one for each German aircraft claimed shot down by the crew. Station and crew names were stenciled below station windows on the aircraft after her tour of duty was completed.  The B-17 Flying Fortress was in production from 1936 to 1945. 12,731 B-17s were built by Boeing, Douglas Aircraft Company and Lockheed-Vega. (The manufacturer codes -BO, -DL and -VE follows the Block Number in each airplane’s type designation.) 3,405 of the total were B-17Fs, with 2,000 built by Boeing, 605 by Douglas and 500 by Lockheed-Vega.  The Memphis Belle is being restored at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio with plans to put it on display May 17, 2018.  Only three B-17F Flying Fortresses, including Memphis Belle, remain in existence.  Promoted to major, Morgan (photo below left) flew a second combat tour in the Pacific Theater, commanding the 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group of the Twentieth Air Force. Flying the B-29 Superfortress Dauntless Dotty from Isley Field, Saipan, he completed 26 missions over Japan until sent home on April 24, 1945. On November 24, 1944, he led the first mission of the XXI Bomber Command to bomb Japan, 110 aircraft of the 73rd Bomb Wing to Tokyo, with wing commander Brigadier General Emmett O’Donnell, Jr. as co-pilot. His B-29 was nicknamed Dauntless Dotty, after his third wife, Dorothy Johnson Morgan.

 

Apollo 10 Launches

18 May 1969: At 16:49:00 UTC, Apollo 10 Saturn V AS-505 lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a full dress rehearsal for the landing on the Moon that would follow with Apollo 11, two months later. On board were Colonel Thomas P. Stafford, U.S. Air Force, (United States Naval Academy Class of 1952) Mission Commander (photo right), on his third space flight; Commander John W. Young , U.S. Navy, Command Module Pilot, also on his third mission (photo below left); and Commander Eugene A. Cernan U.S. Navy, Lunar Module Pilot, on his second space flight (below right). This was the first Apollo mission in which all three flight crew members had previous space flight experience.  During the Apollo 10 mission, everything except an actual lunar landing was practiced and completed. The Lunar Module separated from the Command Service Module in lunar orbit and descended to within 47,400 feet (14,447.5 meters) of the surface. The CSM and LM were in lunar orbit for 2 days, 13 hours, 37 minutes, 23 seconds before returning to Earth. According to the 2002 Guinness World Records, Apollo 10 set the record for the highest speed attained by a manned vehicle: 39,897 km/h (11.08 km/s or 24,791 mph) on May 26, 1969, during the return from the Moon.  The mission’s call signs included the names of the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, which became Apollo 10’s semi-official mascots.  Peanuts creator Charles Schulz also drew some mission-related artwork for NASAThey were also the only Apollo crew all of whose members went on to fly subsequent missions aboard Apollo spacecraft: Young later commanded Apollo 16, Cernan commanded Apollo 17 and Stafford commanded the U.S. vehicle on the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project. It was on this flight that John Young became the first human to fly solo around the Moon, while Stafford & Cernan flew the LM in lunar orbit as part of the preparations for Apollo 11.  The Apollo 10 crew are also the humans who have traveled the farthest away from home, some 408,950 kilometers (220,820 nmi) from their homes and families in Houston.  While most Apollo missions orbited the Moon at the same 111 kilometers (60 nmi) from the lunar surface, the distance between the Earth and Moon varies by about 43,000 kilometers (23,000 nmi), between perigee and apogee, throughout the year, and the Earth’s rotation make the distance to Houston vary by another 12,000 kilometers (6,500 nmi) each day. The Apollo 10 crew reached the farthest point in their orbit around the far side of the Moon at about the same time Earth’s rotation put Houston nearly a full Earth diameter away.  After being jettisoned, Snoopy’s ascent stage engine was fired to fuel depletion, sending it on a trajectory past the Moon into a heliocentric orbitThe Apollo 11 ascent stage was left in lunar orbit to eventually crash; all subsequent ascent stages were intentionally steered into the Moon to obtain readings from seismometers placed on the surface, except for the one on Apollo 13, which did not land but was used as a “life boat” to get the crew back to Earth, and burned up in Earth’s atmosphere.  Snoopy’s ascent stage orbit was not tracked after 1969, and its current location is unknown. In 2011, a group of amateur astronomers in the UK started a project to search for it.  Splashdown occurred in the Pacific Ocean on May 26, 1969, at 16:52:23 UTC, about 400 nautical miles (740 km) east of American Samoa. The astronauts were recovered by USS Princeton, and subsequently flown to Pago Pago International Airport in Tafuna for a greeting reception, before being flown on a C-141 cargo plane to Honolulu.  After Apollo 10, NASA required astronauts to choose more “dignified” names for their Command and Lunar Modules. This proved unenforceable: Apollo 16 astronauts Young, Mattingly and Duke chose Casper, as in Casper the Friendly Ghost, for their Command Module name. The idea was to give children a way to identify with the mission by using humor.  The Command Module Charlie Brown is currently on loan to the Science Museum in London, where it is on display. Charlie Brown’Service Module (SM) was jettisoned just before re-entry and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere.  After the insertion into trans-Lunar orbit, the Saturn IVB third stage was accelerated past Earth escape velocity and became a derelict object where it would continue to orbit the Sun for many years. It remains in orbit around the sun.