Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders Dies At 90 In Tragic Plane Crash

William Anders, the renowned astronaut who flew on the historic Apollo 8 mission in 1968, died at the age of 90 in a plane crash on Friday afternoon. According to multiple reports, Anders was piloting a vintage Air Force T-34 Mentor when the aircraft crashed just off the San Juan Islands in Washington state.

The news of Anders’s passing was confirmed by his son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Anders, who told the Associated Press, “The family is devastated. He was a great pilot and we will miss him terribly.”

The San Juan County Sheriff’s dispatch center received a report around 11:40 a.m. stating that an “older model plane was flying from north to south then went into the water near the north end of Jones Island and sunk.” Sheriff Eric Peter informed CNN via email that the dive team had arrived on the scene and was conducting their search.

During the iconic Apollo 8 mission in 1968, Anders captured the famous “Earthrise” photo, which shows the planet shadowed against the vast expanse of space. He operated alongside fellow crewmates, Air Force veteran Frank F. Borman II and Navy veteran James A. Lovell, Jr.

Throughout his career, Anders logged more than 6,000 hours of flying time and played a crucial role in sending back stunning images of the moon and Earth during the Apollo 8 mission. He retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1988 and went on to serve as the chairman and CEO of General Dynamics Corporation for three years.

Anders is survived by his wife, Valerie, whom he married in 1955, as well as their six children and 13 grandchildren. His legacy as a pioneering astronaut and skilled pilot will continue to inspire generations to come.