Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jim Hinkel's History

I spent my entire time at the Academy in 5th Squadron. The only remarkable thing I remember from Doolie year was being knocked out in boxing intramurals by John Lorber. I guess it's good I remember it. I was on the wing championship rugby team my 3rd Class year and was a guidon bearer one semester that year. My red-tag squadron commander lost control of his saber prior to the march to lunch one day and it hit me in the chest. I think it was the second-class year that Fred Gregory and I passed a turnout in Psych. I know I spent a great deal of time playing hearts with Bill Jones and Larry Moore that year. Connection? Finally, I was a flight commander the second semester of my first-class year. I remember enjoying my first chance at having responsibility. I also remember catching my saber in the ground during the eyes right in front of the reviewing stand at a spring parade. I went down to the parade ground after dinner to retrieve it.

After Ace Rawlins and I sat on the back row at graduation, we both went to pilot training at Del Rio. I spent my first operational assignment in SAC tankers in upstate New York. I upgraded to the left seat and left immediately for small rescue helicopters in Vietnam. Next I had two assignments in the helicopter pilot training business - - the first in ATC and the second in MAC. At the ten-year point in my career I went to Command & Staff; following that I went to MAC HQ in personnel (too many pilots in the AF). I was at MAC four years, the last three in senior officer management (colonel assignments). After MAC HQ, I went into C-141s for three years - - the last year and a half as a flying squadron commander. The Pentagon was next, the basement in Operations, for two years. I pinned on 06 in this assignment - - in the fall of 1983.

AWC was next, followed by two years as the vice and then commander of a Rescue wing on the west coast. That turned out well as I moved next to be a C-141 wing commander at Charleston. My Rescue boss was an airlifter; his support made the move back into C-141s work. After a year, I was back at the Pentagon (summer 1988) as the AF Chief's Exec for a year. I became a BG when I left that job and moved to Hickam for three years to be the airlift division commander in the Pacific. After the Pacific, I pinned on MG (in June of 1992) and went back to DC in AF Logistics as the head AF transporter. After two year there, it was back to Scott AFB (the command name had changed to the Air Mobility Command [AMC] by this time) as the Director of Operations and an opportunity to fly again. I retired in August of the next year (1995). Bonnie and I have been in San Antonio since then. With minor exceptions, my time has been spent with volunteer work. Bonnie has a large family here; it's good to be a part of that again. Trite as it sounds, the absolute joy of our lives is being with out grandchildren - - Addie and Tom.
[ Jim Hinkel's Observations ]
[ Home ] [ Table Of Contents ]