Apollo Astronaut, USA
He is a retired Air Force Reserve Brigadier General and was commissioned in 1957 upon graduation from the Naval Academy. He has had a distinguished career with the US Air Force as a pilot and instructor. He has logged 4,147 hours flying time, which includes 3,632 hours in jet aircraft.
Duke was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 10 flight. He was CAPCOM for Apollo 11, the first landing on the Moon and he served as backup lunar module pilot on Apollo 13.
Duke served as lunar module pilot of Apollo 16, in April, 1972. Apollo 16 was the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey, and sample materials and surface features in the Descartes region of the rugged lunar highlands. With the completion of his first space flight, Duke has logged 265 hours in space and over 21 hours of extra vehicular activity. Duke also served as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 17.
In December 1975, Duke retired from the Astronaut program to enter private business.
He has been awarded many medals and citations throughout his career including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and AF Legion of Merit, and Air Force Command Pilot Astronaut Wings and the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1973. In 1973 he was named South Carolina Man of the Year and inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. He was presented the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1975.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Sciences from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics from MIT. He also has an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the University of South Carolina and an honorary doctorate of Humanities from Francis Marion College.