Lot 5069: Guenter Wendt’s Apollo 13 ‘Gag Bag’

RR Auction

2015-06-29 15:09:01

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Lot 5069: A unique white cloth 'gag bag' presented by the Apollo 13 crew, 15 x 26, signed on the front in black felt tip by the mission's astronauts, with Wendt adding a handwritten notation: "Sorry but with the budjet cut this was the only 'bag' we could find! Thanks for everything." A descriptive handwritten note was added later by Guenter Wendt, in full: "Each flight crew had to pay a toll for launch services in the form of 'high energy food.' These were bags of 'sourball candies.' The only food allowed in the White Room of Pad 39A. This gag bag was for the Apollo 13 crew. Guenter F. Wendt, Pad Leader." In very good condition, with scattered soiling. A long-standing tradition was for the departing astronauts to exchange gag gifts with Wendt just before entering the spacecraft, something initiated by Wendt when he began giving them funny gifts to help relieve tension and help them relax before launch. Wendt later said of these gifts, 'They were normally inside stories that meant something to us, maybe not to the rest of the world, but it relieved the tensions. The guys knew, 'Hey, I'm going to be okay.'' A great item with an ironic twist, as Apollo 13 would soon become the most tension-filled trip ever taken to the moon. RR Auction's The Nasa Collection of Leon Ford Auction 455 Thursday, 25th June 2015 Estimate: $1000 - 1500
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