Near the end of the second orbit of his historic flight, Astronaut John Glenn's Mercury, Freedom & spacecraft passed over the southern half of Laurens County.  Near the end of his third and last orbit, Glenn's Mercury heatshield came loose.

      Glenn's life and that of the space program was in limbo.  Glenn's capsule made it through the earth's atmosphere safely and floated safely into the Atlantic Ocean.  One of three destroyers stationed near Bermuda was the "U.S.S. Noa."  The "Noa" became the prime recovery ship.  It's crewman raised "Friendship 7" from the waters as hundreds of young sailors looked on.  One twenty year old sailor took pictures of Col. Glenn as he emerged from the cramped capsule.

      After the excitement waned the young man when back on duty until he received a message to report to the galley to take a pot of coffee to the Captain's quarters.  Inside the room was Col. Glenn who was relaxing after the grueling flight.  Col. Glenn graciously accepted the coffee and thanked the young man.  That young man entered the navy right out of high school.  His name was Hubert R. Rogers, Jr. of Rentz, Georgia