Minute 106: The Shangri-La in the Sea of Japan

May 25, 2020

Still missing power for the re-entry sequence in the simulator control room, John Aaron turns to backup commander John Young.

“I don’t know where in the hell we’re going to find it,” says Aaron.

Meanwhile, on a televsion in the Lovell home, ABC Science Reporter Jules Bergman  is talking about a previous interview with Jim Lovell.

“Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell has more time in space,” says Jules Bergman, “almost 24 days already, than any other man. And I asked him recently, if he ever was scared.”

Marilyn Lovell moves closer to the television to watch the interview.

“Oh well,” says Lovell, “I’ve had an engine flame out a few times in an aircraft, and I was kind of curious as to whether it was gonna light up again, things of that nature, but uh, they seemed to work out.”

“Is there a specific instance in an airplane emergency when you can recall fear?” asks Jules Bergman

“Oh, well,” says Lovell, “I’ll tell you, I remember this one time. I’m… I’m in a (McDonnell F2H) Banshee at night in combat conditions, so there’s no running lights on the carrier. It was the Shangri-La and we were in the Sea of Japan, and my… my radar had jammed, and my homing signal was gone because somebody in Japan was actually using the same frequency and so it was… was leading me away from where I was supposed to be. And I’m looking down at that big black ocean. So… I flip on my map light. And then suddenly zap everything shorts out right there in my cockpit, all my instruments are gone –”


Loren Dean as John Aaron

Ben Marley as John Young

Jules Bergman as himself

Kathleen Quinlan as Marilyn Lovell

Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

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