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May 6, 2011 12:00 AM

Lyons man flew helicopter that picked up astronaut Alan Shepard

On May 5, 1961, as the Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7 splashed down, then bobbed in the Atlantic, a Kansas farm boy hovered nearby in the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter he was piloting. That was the day Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space.

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