Updated:
Original:

Herrington's carry-ons

Author:

Each astronaut is permitted to carry several souvenir items in space for close friends and special organizations. Many of Herrington's are American Indian related and include flags of the Chickasaw and Crow nations.

One of the more unusual items is a cap for a Navy ship, the USS Chickasaw. Herrington said,

"I got a letter from a guy on the USS Chickasaw and they're having a reunion and this guy sends me a whole list of information on the USS Chickasaw and a hat, so I'm going to fly the hat and present it to those guys at the next reunion. The skipper is in his 80s or 90s now and they want me to present it to him, hopefully at the next reunion."

Herrington added, "I had known there were a variety of ships named for Indian tribes, but this was the first time somebody approached me and I read more about it. It's a neat connection, being Navy to boot." The USS Chickasaw, AT-83, was launched in July 1942 in Alameda, Calif.

Two arrowheads will also fly, one from Herrington's father and one from an aunt on his mother's side. Herrington said, "She presented me with an arrowhead she came across in Bartlesville, Okla. She came across two of them and something told her that the other one she'd give to me to fly.

"Whoever, years ago made that, would have no idea it's now going to fly in space. It's a beautiful shape."

Herrington has been presented four eagle feathers and plans to fly three of them in space. A small one was presented to him in 1997 at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). In 1983 Crawsol Smith, a Cherokee medicine man in Tola, Okla., presented Herrington with one, and two additional ones were presented by AISES. Herrington says one will go to the Smithsonian museum and one will go back to AISES. He hasn't decided yet what to do with the final feather.