Bob’s Watches proudly presents a exceptional piece of historical past from Thomas Francis Finley Jr., a devoted United States Navy veteran who served for 28 years. With the rank of Navy Captain, he retired and has voluntarily served on the USS Halfway stationed at Navy Pier in San Diego for the previous 17 years.
Becoming a member of the Navy in October 1966, Tom piloted the H3 helicopter throughout numerous particular operations, together with the retrieval of the Apollo 14 astronauts after they splashed down within the South Pacific Ocean on February 9, 1971. All through these missions, Tom wore a 1675 Rolex GMT-Grasp circa 1968, which is able to quickly be obtainable for public sale on the Bob’s Watches platform. This unbelievable timepiece is anticipated to promote for about $15,000 – $30,000.
The public sale, titled “The Apollo 14 Ocean Restoration GMT,” will final for five days, beginning on Friday, November 10, and ending on Tuesday, November 14. It’s price noting that there isn’t a reserve or purchaser’s premium.
This Rolex GMT-Grasp, full with field and papers, comes instantly from the unique proprietor, Tom Finley, who bought it in 1969 in Hong Kong at Artland Watch Co. whereas on a week-long “shore go away” throughout Vietnam. Tom determined to accumulate a Rolex after his issued discipline watch flooded, realizing the necessity for a dependable timepiece. Whereas having restricted data about watches on the time, he heard from different service members that Rolex was the go-to model, so he bought one. Tom managed to maintain the field and papers secure all through the years.
Tom performed a vital position within the restoration of the Apollo 14 mission because the co-pilot of the helicopter accountable for choosing up the astronauts. Apollo 14 marked the eighth crewed US mission and the third one to efficiently land on the Moon. The prime crew members for this historic mission have been Alan B. Shepard Jr, Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar G. Mitchell. The astronauts have been transported by Tom’s helicopter to the USS New Orleans, the prime restoration vessel. Tom and his crew then safely transported the astronauts to Pago-Pago in American Samoa.
Right now, Tom continues to function a faithful volunteer on the USS Halfway in San Diego. He has been a docent for the final 17 years and an teacher on the ship for the final 15 years. Remarkably, Tom has logged almost 8,000 volunteer hours aboard the USS Halfway. Excited to half with these cherished possessions after a long time of possession, Tom is prepared for them to discover a new caretaker.
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