WATERFORD, Va. — William Claiborne (Red) Hayes Jr., former director of the NASA teams that picked up astronauts when they returned from space, died Saturday. He was 63.
Hayes greeted astronaut John Glenn after his history-making flight in 1962, and directed the recovery of astronauts Scott Carpenter, Walter M. Schirra Jr. and Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom.
A Norfolk native, Hayes joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics in 1952 and was there when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was organized a few years later.
In 1969, Hayes became director of the Advanced Aerospace Projects Office at NASA-Langley, and in 1971 he was named executive assistant for planning in the office of the director for Center Development and External Affairs at Langley.