Harry Hink, Air Force officer and FAA official, dies at 90

November 22, 2013

Harry Hink, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served in three wars and later became a compliance officer with the Federal Aviation Administration, died Oct. 19 at the Fairfax assisted living facility in Fort Belvoir, Va. He was 90.

He had congestive heart failure, his daughter Linda Harrington said.

Col. Hink joined the Army Air Forces in 1942. During World War II, he flew 28 missions as a B-29 bomber pilot over Japan. According to his war records and a 2013 Washington Post article, he flew a decoy mission over Japan on Aug. 6, 1945, the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Col. Hink served as an Air Force bomber pilot during the Korean War. In his final military assignment, during the Vietnam War, he was based in the Philippines and was in charge of ensuring the safety of airfields in war zones in Southeast Asia.

He retired from the Air Force in 1970. His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross and eight Air Medals.

Col. Hink joined the FAA in 1970 and retired in 1987 as chief of the safety and compliance division of what is now the Office of Airport Safety and Standards.

Harry Devere Hink was born in Waynoka, Okla. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland in 1966.

He lived from 1960 to 2012 in Annandale, Va., where he was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church.

His first wife, the former Elizabeth “Cherry” DeArmas, died in 1980 after 32 years of marriage. His second wife, the former Audrey B. Linehan, died in 2012 after 19 years of marriage.

A son from his first marriage, John C. Hink, died in 1971.

Survivors include three children from his first marriage, Linda Harrington of Wallingford, Pa., Mary Artz of Manassas, Va., and Harry D. Hink Jr. of Fairfax City; a stepson, John Linehan of Alexandria; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

— Matt Schudel

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