USMC Pilot, call sign "Hunt Club 1"
Liberty Bell 7 Attempted Recovery
Mercury (MR-4) Prime
Recovery Team, Helicopter Pilot (Hunt Club 1). These
document the ill fated struggle of USMC Pilot Jim Lewis
to recover Liberty Bell 7 on 7/21/61. Grissom
can be clearly seen in the first two images as he treads
water waiting to be rescued.
photos measure 8x10
unless specified otherwise
"A very heavy LB7" as Hunt Club 1 struggles to keep LB7
aloft. Awesome inscription!
Recovery carrier USS Randolph is noted
by Lewis as you can see in the scan.
"Wheels Dripping" shows Lewis
struggling to maintain a grip on
Liberty Bell despite the weight
causing overload and a warning light
signaling potential catastrophic
engine failure. Lewis hand signs and
inscribes in black sharpie. Measures
"We Commend LB 7 To The Deep"
captures the moment Hunt Club 1 Pilot
Jim Lewis was forced to release the
cable holding Liberty Bell 7. It
was hopeless at that point and Lewis put
up his best fight but the cockpit engine
warning indicator and the weight of the
flooded capsule created a situation
putting his helo at real risk of engine
It may be difficult to see in the
scan but this photo shows the actual
moment the cable is released allowing
LB-7 to sink to the ocean floor where it
would remain until Curt Newport
discovered and raised it many years
later. The lengthly inscription on
this image is awesome and Lewis adds his
call sign, "Hunt Club 1" Signed in
black sharpie. Measures 8x10.
$35 (temporarily sold out)
"Water Landing" shows the amazing effort
put forth by Jim Lewis to save Liberty
Bell 7 from sinking. His wheels
were actually in the water as the
flooded spacecraft dragged his helo down
with it, ultimately prompting him to
release the cable. An amazing
inscription and signature by Jim Lewis
as you can see in the scan.
"Sick Bird" shows Hunt Club's co-pilot
attempting to latch on to LB7 in it's
final moments above the surface as it
takes on water at an overhwelming rate.
Lewis's long quote is referring to the
need to abandon the effort as the engine
warning lights of their helo are
indicating potential engine failure.
Beautifully hand signed in gold paint
pen. Measures 8x10.
"Hunt Club 1 Flyby" shows the scene as
Recovery Pilot Jim Lewis completes his
initial flyby while Gus is completing
his post landing checklist. This
was taken just before the hatch blew,
flooding LB-7. Beautifullly hand
signed and inscribed by Jim Lewis who
adds his call sign, "Pilot, Hunt Club
1". Measures 8x10.