Mickey Lowe

Mickey Lowe (in yellow hardhat) cuts a line that helped haul the Apollo 11 command module on board the USS Hornet on July 24, 1969.

As we celebrate the incredible achievement of 50 years ago this week of Apollo 11, we meet a Shreveport veteran who lent a hand on that first mission to land men on the moon, and splash back to earth.

Mickey Lowe was on the USS Hornet. He climbed aboard the crane to install a key cable, and was one of the sailors hoisting the space capsule on board. He says they trained a month and a half for the mission.

Asked if he sensed that moment in history, Mickey says, "Right then, no. Today, yes. Just a great feeling to be part of the team that did this.

"The pride that you have in what we accomplished. What those men accomplished," he continued. "You think about those men that landed on the moon that took that first step. It's so amazing. We did this. Our country did this."

A year before the historic moonshot, Mickey was on a different boat -- a patrol boat in the Vietnam War. He was the captain of his boat that helped keep the Cua-Viet River open so our fire bases could stay supplied with equipment and ammo. Part of that job meant clearing away enemy mines -- and the enemy who put them there.

"The only reason I come home -- and I'll tell you right up front -- is the prayers of a mother," Mickey says.

In a sad twist of fate, Mickey and another captain switched crews. Mickey's old crew went first on patrol and hit one of those mines.

"We lost all of them. We lost four Navy guys and two Marines," Mickey said somberly. "It's not easy to come back from something like that."

Mickey would earn a Bronze Star for rescuing another boat crew from a sandbar while under fire.

"I wouldn't take nothing for it but I certainly wouldn't go back and do it again. And I'm very proud that I was there," he says.

When Mickey returned to Shreveport from four years in the Navy, he joined the Shreveport Police Department. He rose to captain, taking charge of the sex crimes and juvenile units before he left that 28-year career in 1998.

And he's still working today at age 72 for Wicker Construction where he's been the last couple of decades. Whatever Mickey's done in his life -- construction, police, the Navy -- he comes back to one thing.

"Everything is about being part of a team," he says.

Mickey has reunited with some of his former team from on the Apollo 11 recovery mission during this 50th anniversary of the first manned trip to the moon. They met in Alameda, California and visited the USS Hornet Air and Space Museum.


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