Buzz Aldrin in front of Thunderbirds F-16


By Dario Leone
Apr 5 2017
Share this article

In 1969 Buzz Aldrin broke barriers and he set foot on the Moon

On Apr. 2, 2017 retired Air Force Col. and astronaut Buzz Aldrin flew in an F-16 belonging to the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds and took part in the diamond formation fly by over Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., who is often remembered only as the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, served as U.S. Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot during the Korean War. He flew 66 combat missions in F-86 Sabres, shot down two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 aircraft and Jun. 8, 1953, issue of Life magazine featured gun camera photos taken by Aldrin of one of the Soviet pilots ejecting from his damaged aircraft.

After the war, Aldrin was assigned as an aerial gunnery instructor at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada, and next was an aide to the dean of faculty at the USAF Academy, which had recently begun operations in 1955. That same year, he graduated from the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.

He flew F-100 Super Sabres as a flight commander at Bitburg Air Base, West Germany, in the 22d Fighter Squadron (FS).

Get your USAF Thunderbirds prints Today and have them signed by the crew! This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS 

Aldrin was selected as a member of the third group of NASA astronauts in Oct. 1963.

He flew as pilot on Gemini 12, the last Gemini mission, where he set a record for extravehicular activity (EVA), demonstrating that astronauts could work outside spacecraft.

In 1969 Aldrin broke barriers and he set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on Jul. 21, 1969 (UTC), following Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article

Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.

Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices