Joseph A. Walker, National Aeronautics & Space Administration. X-15 Pilot No. 2.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

Joe and Grace Walker.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Walker and his P-38 Lightning "Chuggin' Charlie" during World War II.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Walker crashes a P-47G Thunderbolt three months after joining NACA: 23 Jun. 1945.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

Cowboy Joe Walker saddles up his X-1A.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

Walker outside the X-15 suiting van.

courtesy author's collection

Walker enjoys a doughnut before heading out to the X-15.

courtesy Sherri McKay-Lowe collection

Walker exits the suiting van on the way to the X-15.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

Walker at controls of first NASA flight of the program: 1-3-8 on 25 Mar. 1960.

courtesy Defense Audio-Visual Agency

Walker's second flight: 1-5-10 on 19 Apr. 1960.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

X-15 no. 1 landing with an F-104 chase plane keeping close watch.

courtesy author's collection

Walker's first flight in X-15 No. 3: 3-8-16 on 2 Aug. 1962.

courtesy Defense Audio-Visual Agency

Ground servicing of the X-15 following a landing on Rogers Dry Lake.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Walker in the X-15 cockpit following flight.

courtesy author's collection

Paul F. Bikle, Hugh L. Dryden, and Walter C. Williams.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Joe Vensel with his chief pilot, Joe Walker.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The X-15 returning from space.

computer art courtesy Thommy Eriksson

Walker "flying" the X-15 simulator.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

An X-15 in the service area near the NASA hangar.

courtesy author's collection

The NASA ramp at the Flight Research Center during the time of the X-15.

courtesy TD Barnes collection

Looking west over the Beatty High Range Radar Tracking Station.

courtesy TD Barnes collection

Aftermath of an ice storm at the Ely High Range Radar Tracking Station.

courtesy author's collection

Desert southwest from X-15 altitude.

courtesy Edwards History Office

The Sierra Nevada Range from near space.

courtesy Edwards History Office

Fun in the Old West. Walker with sons: James, Joseph, and Thomas.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

When Walker was chief pilot on the X-1E the crew painted dice on his aircraft.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Walker with the crew who did it again on the X-15. The dice are seen at the far right.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Walker coaching the Little League Stars: 1965.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Walker honored in hometown parade in Washington, Pennsylvania.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Walker at XB-70 rollout: 11 May 1964. Actor James Stewart is on the left.

courtesy Cathie Godwin collection

Walker with the XB-70: 1 Mar. 1966.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

A fateful day: 8 Jun. 1966. Walker is in the F-104 off the XB-70's right wingtip.

courtesy author's collection

Immediately following the collision, the F-104 is gone and the XB-70A is crippled.

courtesy author's collection

Smilin' Joe Walker in the cockpit of the X-3 Stiletto.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

Proud father Joe Walker with two of his sons: Thomas and James.

courtesy Grace Walker collection