graduated from flying school April 15, 1944. My first
assignment was B-17 transition school at Roswell, New
Mexico. From that class they selected three of us to go
to the B-29 program. The next assignment was to Alamogordo
Air Force Base to learn how to fly the "big bird, then
on to Smokey Hill Air Base at Salina, Kansas, to form
the crews. After crew training, we were off to the "big
war", arriving on Guam on April Fool's day, 1945. By war's
end, we flew 28 missions, the last one over the Battleship
Missouri during the signing of the peace terms.
the war ended, I stayed on Guam until September 21,
1945. At that time they transferred eleven crews with
the highest number of missions from the 39th Bomb Group,
314th Wing, to the 497th Group, 73rd Wing, on Saipan.
I flew one of the 497th aircraft to the States on October
2, 1945. I don't recall flying to the States with any
of our crew members from Crew 27. They perhaps put all
the crew members in a pool when we got to Saipan and
later formed crews to return stateside.
first stateside assignment was MacDill Air Force Base,
the 307th Bomb Wing. The Wing deployed to Okinawa in
May 1950 in support of the Korean War. I was on Okinawa
for 10 months and was able to get in 63 missions flying
B-29's. At the end of the TDY, I returned to MacDill
left MacDill AFB in 1953 and was assigned to Barksdale
AFB as pilot for the Commanding General of 2nd Air Force,
General Frank A. Armstrong. General Armstrong's experiences
while stationed in England during WWII were the basis
of the movie "Twelve O'Clock High". The movie has been
shown repeatedly to military personnel in teaching lessons
three years at Barksdale (1953-1956) I went with the
General when he took over the Alaskan Command in 1956.
I was assigned the duty of the General's Aide in addition
to being the Command Pilot.
the Alaska assignment, I attended Command and Staff
College and then was assigned to the Pentagon.
1968, I was assigned to the 14th Air Force Headquarters,
Clark AB in the Philippines. My duty there was Chief
of the Inspection Team under the Office of the Inspector
General. Our mission was to inspect all the U.S. installations
in the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand. When
we went in-country to inspect, I was able to ride as
a staff officer on combat missions inside Vietnam.
returned to the States and retired at Bolling AFB in
September 1970 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 28 years
service (1942-1970). I view my military service as highly
rewarding and I am proud of the fact I participated
in WWII and the Korean and Vietnam police actions ---having
flown combat missions in all three.
month after I retired from the Air Force, I went to
work for the Federal Aviation Administration at the
Washington, DC, Headquarters. With my flying background,
I worked the area of airport safety. My office was responsible
for assuring prescribed safety standards were maintained
at all the civilian airports. We maintained records
on over 17,000 airports. They ranged from the large
air carrier airports to the small privately owned airports.
worked for the FAA for 18 years and retired in 1987 as
a GS-15. After 46 years working for the U.S. Government,
I decided it was time to retire. Now I am enjoying my
retirement with my loving family and our nine grandchildren.
Linda Harrington (L) with her father, Harry and
his wife, Audrey, at the WWII Memorial Aug
Click on image to enlarge
Photo by Paul Harrington
Lt. Colonel Harry D. Hink, Ret took his Final Flight on Oct 19, 2013. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on January 29, 2014