John B. McKay, National Aeronautics & Space Administration. X-15 Pilot No. 5.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Twin baby brothers who would take different life paths: John and Jim McKay.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

McKay on US Navy carrier duty in a Grumman F6F Hellcat.

courtesy John McKay collection

McKay (second from left, bottom row) with his Hellcat squadron mates.

courtesy John McKay collection

John B. McKay and Shirley Mae Londeree wedding day: 2 Aug. 1947.

courtesy Sherri McKay-Lowe collection

Stan Butchart with Jack McKay.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

McKay in the cockpit of the Bell X-1E at the NACA.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

Sheri and Jim McKay share an adventure with their dad at Red Rock Canyon.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

McKay (on left behind Miss Rosamond) at an event honoring Walker at Tropico Mine.

courtesy Grace Walker collection

McKay heading out to the X-15.

courtesy Dave Stoddard collection

Under the B-52 wing, the X-15 prepares for launch.

courtesy Edwards History Office

Closely tracked by an F-104 chase plane, X-15 No. 3 nears touchdown.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

McKay (sitting with head down, holding a cigar) is the NASA-1 controller for a flight.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Aerial view of Mud Dry Lake crash site: 2-31-52 on 9 Nov. 1962.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

X-15 No. 2 flipped on its back following McKay's emergency landing at Mud.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Rear view which highlights the collapsed landing skids. Note the left skid is missing.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The cockpit seat, with McKay in it, dug into the dirt after the X-15 flipped over.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Hoisting the mangled X-15 onto the flatbed for return to Edwards.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Off the lakebed at Delamar, McKay popped the canopy: 1-63-104 on 6 May 1966.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Jack McKay leaves the hospital. Dr. Lynne B. Rowe and Jack's twin, Jim McKay.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Paul Bikle is interviewed in front of the rebuilt X-15 No. 2, now the X-15A-2.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

B-52 no. 003 taxies out for takeoff from the Edwards runway with the X-15 nestled under the right wing. An H-21 helicopter stands by over the lakebed behind the duo..

courtesy author's collection

Walter Cronkite interviews Rushworth and McKay in X-15 simulator: 22 Oct. 1962.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

McKay is greeted by NASA Administrator James Webb following his first flight in the X-15A-2: 2-35-60 on 30 Nov. 1964. Walt Williams looks on, just behind Webb.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

McKay squints against the desert sun glare when the canopy is popped after landing.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection

McKay as a young Naval officer at the beginning of his career.

courtesy Sheri McKay-Lowe collection