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"We were making history:" Wisconsin man reflects on involvement of Apollo 11 recovery efforts

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OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) – Three Wisconsin men were part of the team that retrieved the Apollo 11 capsule after it splashed down following the moon landing.

The rescue happened on July 24, 1969.

“It was exciting, we knew we were making history,” John Wolfram said.

Wolfram was the first person in the water to reach the Apollo 11 capsule. He grew up in Fort Atkinson and was selected by the Navy to be on the team. He was only two years out of high school.

Wolfram says the team went through rigorous training so when it came time to rescue the capsule, it was second nature.

Wolfram recently stopped at an Oak Creek Church to share his story.

“My job was to jump in the water by myself,” he said. “I had a sea anchor in a little bag, that’s a small parachute; I swam up to the capsule and attached it right below the hatch door and what that does is help stabilize the capsule.”

CBS will air a news special on Tuesday called Man on the Moon. You can watch it on CBS 58.

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