- H-43 combat rescue pilot at Danang AB, Vietnam.
- Tuskegee Airmen
Frederick Drew Gregory, Colonel, received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, and a master’s degree in information systems.
Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, 16 Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and 3 NASA Space Flight Medals. Recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Award; the National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award; an honorary doctor of science degree; and Distinguished Alumni Award. Designated an “Ira Eaker Fellow” by the Air Force Association.
Recipient of numerous NASA group and individual achievement awards as well as civic and community awards.
Gregory entered pilot training and attended undergraduate helicopter training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. He received his wings and was assigned as an H-43 helicopter rescue pilot at Vance AFB.
He was assigned as an H-43 combat rescue pilot at Danang AB, Vietnam. When he returned to the United States in July 1967, he was assigned as a missile support helicopter pilot flying the UH-1F at Whiteman AFB.
Gregory was retrained as a fixed-wing pilot flying the T-38 at Randolph AFB. He was then assigned to the F-4 Phantom Combat Crew Training Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB.
Gregory attended the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Following completion of this training, he was assigned to the 4950th Test Wing, Wright Patterson AFB, as an operational test pilot flying fighters and helicopters.
Gregory was detailed to the NASA Langley Research Center. He served as a research test pilot at Langley until selected for the Astronaut Program.
Gregory has logged more than 6,976 hours flying time in over 50 types of aircraft — including 550 combat missions in Vietnam. He holds an FAA commercial and instrument certificate for single- and multi-engine airplanes and helicopters.
He has authored or co-authored several papers in the areas of aircraft handling qualities and cockpit design.
Gregory was selected as an astronaut. His technical assignments included: Astronaut Office representative at the Kennedy Space Center during initial Orbiter checkout and launch support for STS-1 and STS-2; Flight Data File Manager; lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM); Chief, Operational Safety, NASA Headquarters; Chief, Astronaut Training; and a member of the Orbiter Configuration Control Board and the Space Shuttle Program Control Board.
A veteran of three Shuttle missions he has logged over 455 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-51B, and was the spacecraft commander on STS-33, and STS-44. Gregory served at NASA Headquarters as Associate Administrator for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight, and NASA Deputy Administrator.
Gregory resigned from NASA.
STS-51B/Spacelab-3 launched from Kennedy Space Center. The crew aboard the Orbiter Challenger included spacecraft commander, Robert Overmyer; mission specialists, Norman Thagard, William Thornton, and Don Lind; and payload specialists, Taylor Wang and Lodewijk Vandenberg.
On this second flight of the laboratory developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), the crew conducted a broad range of scientific experiments ranging from space physics to the suitability of animal-holding facilities.
The crew also deployed the Northern Utah Satellite (NUSAT). After seven days of around-the-clock scientific operations, Challenger and its laboratory cargo landed on the dry lakebed at Edwards AFB. Mission duration was 168 hours, 8 minutes, 47seconds.
STS-33 launched at night, from Kennedy Space Center. On board the Orbiter Discovery, Gregory’s crew included the pilot, John Blaha, and three mission specialists, Manley (Sonny) Carter, Story Musgrave, and Kathryn Thornton. The mission carried Department of Defense payloads and other secondary payloads. After 79 orbits of the Earth, this five-day mission concluded, with a hard surface landing on Runway 04 at Edwards AFB. Mission duration was 120 hours, 7 minutes, 32 seconds.
STS-44 launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center. During 110 orbits of the Earth, the crew successfully deployed their prime payload, the Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite. They worked on a variety of secondary payloads ranging from the Military Man in Space experiment designed to evaluate the ability of a space borne observer to gather information about ground troops, equipment and facilities, and also participated in extensive studies evaluating medical countermeasures to long duration space flight.
The crew aboard the Orbiter Atlantis included the pilot Tom Henricks; three mission specialists, Story Musgrave, Jim Voss, and Mario Runco Jr.; and payload specialist Tom Hennen. The mission concluded, with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base. Mission duration was 166 hours, 50 minutes, 42 seconds.