When I was a kid in the fifties I fell in love with space opera. The first one I used to watch regularly was “Captain Video and his Video Rangers” but my favorite was “Space Patrol”. The program dealt with the interplanetary adventures of Buzz Corey, Commander-In-Chief of the Space Patrol, a sort of outer space police force. ED KEMMER, who was an actual war hero, played Corey. He was a fighter pilot who had been shot down over enemy territory. Captured by the Germans, he and two other prisoners used a spoon to unlock the door, to where they were being held, and made their way back to Allied lines.
My Mom knew my passion for the show and when a mock-up of the space ship from the show appeared at a shopping center nearby, she took me to see it. It was big enough to go aboard and I actually rode in the pilot’s seat.
Recently a friend, DONN GREER, sent me a photo of one of those ten cent ride ‘em machines and all my wonderful adolescent sci-fi memories came flooding back, especially since the ride had all the proper trappings. The “Space Patrol” logo was correct and there was a red and white-checkered trim on the tail fins, which was the logo for their sponsor, Wheat and Rice Chex (the Ralston Purina Company).
I’ve included photos of the actual ship model used on the show, the Terra V, along with the Ralston Rocket and the ride ‘em store ride.