National Geographic : 1961 Nov
HS EKTACHROMEU NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Its parachute collapsed, the gondola rides the sea like a raft. Helicopters hover above. Moments later Prather drowned during rescue operations. Helmet removed after flight, a weary Ross squints into the sun. LT. J .W . STIFRMAN Vic's death overwhelmed me. At first, I wanted to forget the balloon and everything connected with it. But later I realized that I could not betray the ideals that Vic had died for. He would have wanted our story told. Our flight means that mankind can advance with more confidence toward undreamed-of wonders in the universe. The priceless knowledge we gained is Vic's memorial. He earned it with courage and devo tion in the perilous emptiness where space begins. 685 KODACOLORBY PHC R. L. KNUDSEN, U.S . NAVY In the White House, Mrs. Victor A. Prather, Jr., shows her children, Marla Lee and Victor III, the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded posthu mously to their father for "heroism and extraor dinary achievement." Citation held by President Kennedy praised Dr. Prather's ability and devotion.