The Space Patrol Crew

Ed Kemmer's
Home page

Memories from:

Warren Chaney
Chuck Lassen
Beth Flood
Jack McKirgan
Jean-Noel Bassior
Elliott Swanson
Marty Baumann
Christine Hood
Solar Guard Posts


Final Journey by Warren Chaney

Cadet Memories of

Ed Kemmer

Commander In Chief

Of the

Space Patrol

Marty Baumann

My name is Marty Baumann. I write and edit “The Astounding B Monster” webzine. I can’t express how saddened I am by Ed Kemmer’s passing. I’ve interviewed a number of celebrities over the years. Ed is one of a very few who became a friend. In hindsight, cynical critics have maintained that the movie and television heroes of the post-war years were possessed of virtues no human could aspire to in reality. Ed did. He was generous, courteous, sensitive, brave and modest. War hero, husband, father, actor, singer, painter. Buzz Corry never escaped from a Nazi prison camp or delivered a baby in the back seat of a speeding police cruiser. Ed did. So, let the critics debate whether or not our role models should accurately reflect reality, happy in our knowledge that Ed Kemmer made reality better.
Ed signing pictures
I attended several shows with Ed. It was heartening to see men and women in their fifties, wide-eyed and tongue-tied upon meeting Commander Buzz Corry. Ed steadfastly refused to charge for autographs, sometimes to the consternation of the celebrities at adjacent tables who were asking $10, $15 and $20 a pop. His giving nature was reflected in the way he casually shared so many personal memories. Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about the man, he'd delight you with another anecdote or accomplishment previously suppressed by his inherent modesty. For instance, he was an accomplished singer. He and his brother formed a musical trio, and to the best of Ed's knowledge, they were the first to record the classic song, "You Are My Sunshine." When he moved east following "Space Patrol," he took all of the show's miniatures -- rockets and space base -- with him, but they vanished from the train car en route. He had no idea what became of them. Just recently I mentioned to him that I'd seen the "Combat" episode that featured he and Warren Stevens as suspected Nazi infiltrators. This sparked a long reminiscence; Stevens, like Ed, was a pilot. Stevens had access to a light plane and, after "Combat" filming was concluded, Ed recalled, "we flew north out of L.A. and had a great Sunday breakfast at an airport he was familiar with. He was a good pilot and we enjoyed a good day's flying." Ed recalled many details of the programs he appeared on, but often had trouble remembering names. Struggling to recall William Shatner during one of our conversations, Ed said, "Oh, you know, the fellow with the wig." He meant nothing derogatory. Ed was without guile, a gentleman in every regard.

When "Space Patrol" was at the zenith of its popularity, Ed, Lyn Osborn and a vocal chorus recorded the show's theme song and the rousing "Up Ship and Away." Ed transferred the 78-rpm disk to cassette and sent it to me. It's an exhilarating piece of nostalgia with Ed, his voice brimming with confidence, belting out the song's infectious, optimistic refrain: "Close ports, fire jets, up ship and away! We'll take it slow and only go a million miles today."