Charles Arthur Bassett II, a Major in the United States Air Force, was born on December 30, 1931 in Dayton, Ohio. He was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Phi Kappa Tau, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi and the Daedalians.
Bassett and Elliot See died in the crash of their T-38 training jet at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation’s plant, Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri on February 28, 1966. Bassett (Pilot) and See (Commander) were the primary crew members of Gemini 9, scheduled for launch later in the year. When they died, their backups, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan, rotated to the prime crew.
Space Flights: None
Total Hours in Space: 0
Astronaut Group: 3-October 18, 1963
Degrees: BS, Electrical Engineering, Texas Technological College. He had done graduate work at University of Southern California.
Military Service & Awards: He graduated from the Aerospace Research Pilot School and the Air Force Experimental Pilot School. He served as an experimental test pilot and engineering test pilot in the Fighter Projects Office at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He logged over 3,600 hours-flying time, including over 2,900 hours in a jet aircraft. He also served in Korea.
Crew Photo, Gemini 9 (shown with backup crew):
Interred at Arlington National Cemetery: March 4, 1966
How to locate: From the visitor’s center walk south on Eisenhower Drive and turn right onto Porter Drive, then the first left at the five-way intersection onto Jessup Drive. Continue walking straight, and where the roadways split you will see a small triangle of grass. Just across the roadway from that grassy area you will find the Bassett headstone in the eighth row back, sixth from the left.