Roger B. Chaffee

Roger Chaffee

Roger Bruce Chaffee, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy, was born on February 15, 1935 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was an Eagle Scout and a member of Phi Kappa Sigma.

Chaffee and his crewmates, Gus Grissom and Ed White, died on January 27, 1967 in a fire aboard the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a ground test at Pad 34, Cape Canaveral (then known as Cape Kennedy), Florida. Ed White, the third member of the Apollo 1 crew, is buried at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

NASA Biography

Space Flights: None

Total Hours in Space: 0

Astronaut Group: 3-October 18, 1963

Degrees: BS, Aeronautical Engineering, Purdue University, 1957

Military Service & Awards: He started his flight training by flying the T-28 and T-34 and later flew the F9F Cougar and the A3D jets. He flew 82 missions over Cuba between 1960 and 1962, including during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He later served on the USS Saratoga, performing both day and night flights. During his career he logged more than 2,300 hours of flying time, including more than 2,000 hours in jet aircraft. He was awarded two United States Navy Air Medals.

Apollo 1 crew portrait
Apollo 1 crew portrait. Left to right: Ed White, Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee.

Interred at Arlington National Cemetery: January 31, 1967

Section: 3
Grave: 2502-F
Grid: Q-15

How to locate: From the Memorial Amphitheater walk South on Memorial Drive, turn right on Porter Drive, then left on McPherson Drive and left onto McKinley Drive. The roadway curves around a rectangular-shaped grassy area. Turn to the left, then right, around the grassy area. When you see a large black McGee headstone to your left just before the intersection with Miles Drive, turn right to continue on McKinley and stop after a few feet. Your back will be to the Air Force memorial in the distance. The Chaffee headstone is in the third row, to the right of the Grissom gravesite.

Chaffee headstone, front   Chaffee headstone, back