~ IN MEMORY ~
USAF veteran, DL Capt. Elmer Elton ‘Junior’ Hinkle Jr.
April 6, 1941 ~ April 28, 2019
Belated news, as reported recently in the June/July issue of ALPA Air Line Pilot magazine’s In Memoriam column, the passing of retired Delta pilot Captain Elmer Elton Hinkle Jr., age 78. Captain Hinkle joined Delta Air Lines 03-14-1969 and retired with Delta in 2001, based 031/ATL.
He is survived by his wife Linda and their two sons.
All information below and photos are available online at
Captain Hinkle’s obituary information notes that a Celebration of Life will be held August 24th at Christ Methodist Church, Plano TX 75075.
For those wishing to send a personal note, whitepages lists the family residence address as
13251 Bodega Trl., Frisco TX 75035-0062.
~ Carol for the PCN
CPT. Elmer Elton “Junior” Hinkle, Jr
BIRTH : 6 Apr 1941.....Morrisville, Polk County, Missouri, USA
DEATH : 28 Apr 2019 (aged 78)....Frisco, Collin County, Texas, USA
BURIAL : Christ United Methodist Church Columbarium, Plano, Collin County, Texas, USA;
Junior married his childhood sweetheart, Linda, on September 8, 1962. He graduated from Missouri University, Columbia, Missouri in 1963 and received a commission in the United States Air Force through the ROTC.
In March 1964, Junior and Linda arrived at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma where he became a member of Class 65-F. He was assigned to 3575th Pilot Training Wing, 3576th Pilot Training Squadron, Flight 3, 'Speedy' where he flew the T-37B 'Tweet', with Wayne Yohe as his instructor. Part way through our T-37B training, the class was split in half and Junior was reassigned to the Flight 4, 'Warlock' in the 3576th Pilot Training Squadron. While in Warlock flight, his instructors were Emery Cushing and William Butler. In advanced flight training, he was assigned to Flight 1, 'Mojack' where he flew the supersonic T-38A 'Talon', which was also known as 'The White Rocket'. His instructors were James Wilhelm, Harold Mund and Donald McCarter.
On Saturday morning, March 20, 1965, he graduated and was awarded his Pilot Wings. He was an Outstanding Officer Graduate for having ‘”excelled in flying, academics and military performance.” Junior accepted an assignment to Pilot Instructor Training and became a T-38A Instructor Pilot at Vance Air Force Base where he remained until March 1967 when he was reassigned to Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas instructing German students. He was not happy with the assignment as he did not volunteer while numerous others did and yet he was sent there against his will.
In November 1967, he ferried an F-5 to Europe after a brief check out at Williams AFB, Chandler, Arizona. What was to have been an eighteen-day trip turned into a month. Junior came away with a bad feeling about the TAC pilots who led the whole mess. He ended up spending a week in Morroco until he wrangled a USAF air evacuation flight to Portugal, as he did not have a passport
When he was not offered a regular commission in the USAF, he left the Air Force and joined Delta Airlines in March 1969. Based on class seniority he got his choice of Dallas as his home base. He was a Second Officer on DC-8 for about eight months and then went back to Atlanta for DC-9 First Officer training. He flew First Officer on DC-9, B-727, L-1011, and Captain on B-737, B-727, B-757, B-767, and MD-11. He flew 29 years out of Dallas and final 3 years out of Atlanta on MD-11 international. In the course of his flying with Delta, he flew to Tokyo, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Athens, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
Mostly routine flying during his 32 years with the exception of an early, foggy departure out of Savannah, GA. The runway had a crown at mid-point which preventing seeing a flock of sea gulls that decided to lift off just as he rotated for takeoff. He took gulls in both engines and had no choice but to set it back down. It was a B-737 and a 6000 ft runway and he was able to stop with the nose wheel just at the end of the runway. He flew his retirement flight on March 31, 2001 from Frankfurt to Atlanta. Linda went on the trip and the First Officer went back and brought her to the cockpit and strapped her in the center jump seat for the descent and landing. She was thrilled and still talks about the experience.
His first 10 years with Delta were spent flying, playing golf, tennis, and the usual things around the house. In 1980 he decided to start a home construction company as his dad and granddad had been in construction. He did the preliminary design and never built the same home twice. Linda worked in the office and decorated the spec homes and worked with clients on custom homes. He built about 100 homes during the 11 years. They moved to Shell Knob, Missouri in 1994 and built their retirement home.
In 2010, Jr and Linda set up and hosted the first reunion for class 65-F in Branson, Missouri. The reunion was a tremendous success due to the detailed planning of Jr and Linda.
Several years later, they moved to Frisco, Texas to be nearer their children. Jr then built a new retirement home in Frisco.
After retirement from Delta they enjoyed taking cruises to Alaska, New Zealand & Australia, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Scandinavia & Russia, and a Mediterranean cruise. One of his most enjoyable and rewarding trips was to Normandy, France where they visited Omaha Beach, Utah Beach and the town of Bayeux which was the first town liberated on D-Day. It was something that he had always wanted to do and it proved to be more rewarding than imagined.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years and two sons, Wade and Chris.
A Celebration of Life will be held August 24th, 2:00pm at the Christ Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Road, Plano, TX 75075.