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39th Bomb Group (VH)
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Gunner's Badge
Pilot's
Badge


dfc.gif [The Distingushed Flying Cross]

airmedal.gif [The Air Medal]

with

7

br_oak2.jpg [Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster]



Unit Citation

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]


with
Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards

argdcon.jpg [The Army Good Conduct Medal]


amcamp.gif [The American Campaign Medal]


apcm.jpg [The Asiatic-Pacfic Campaign Medal]

with

star1.gif [Bronze Star]


wwiivic.gif [The Victory Medal, World War II]



Click on the name of the Decoration, Service Award, or Ribbon Device to learn the criteria



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1st Lt Harry D. Hink
Pilot/Airplane Commander

I 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.

After 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.

My 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 AFB.

I 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 in leadership.

After 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.

Following the Alaska assignment, I attended Command and Staff College and then was assigned to the Pentagon.

In 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.

I 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.

A 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.

I 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 2005
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


Command
Pilot's Badge

Additional Service Awards
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
star1.gif [Bronze Star]

w/ 5
br_oak2.jpg [Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster]
Air Force Longevity Service Award
Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon
Not displayed: The Royal Thai Aviation Badge

Crew 27 Main Page
61st Squadron Crew Index
Source: Harry D. Hink, Lt Col USAF (Ret)