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Clinton E. Hankins

February 5, 2011
Clinton E. Hankins
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Obituary for Clinton E. Hankins
Lt. Col. Clinton Edward Hank Hankins, USAF, Ret. passed away on February 5, 2011 at David Grant AF Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, CA, at the age of 91. He was a Minnesotan, Iowa raised. The son of Leonard and Mary, he had three brothers, Robert, Clifford, Warren and one sister, Betty. He was a very kind, intelligent, honorable, loyal, hardworking gentleman who loved his family and was always there to help others with labor or if asked, advice.
Clinton served in the Army Air Corps-United States Air Force from 4 September 1941 to 1965. Clinton was both enlisted and an officer holding the ranks of Private and Staff Sergeant Pilot while enlisted and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Clinton had well over one million miles flying many prop-engine planes and turbo-props. A few of which were: PT-9, BT-13, AT-9, AT10, AT17, C-47, C-54, and his favorites the P-38 and C-97.
Clinton held many jobs while in the military including: Air Plane Mechanic, Pilot, Command Pilot, Wing Ground Safety Officer, Wing Housing Officer, Flight Commander D-1, Instructor, Squadron Commander, Base Operations Officer, Check Pilot for the Flying Tigers, Atomic Test Pilot on two Joint Task Force Seven, Operations Sandstone-Kwajalein & Eniwetok Atomic Tests, Cuban Missile Crisis, and flying the Berlin Air Lift. In September 1994, he was invited to participate, along with other Berlin Air Lift Pilots honored by the Berlin Government, in the farewell to Allies, by their House and Senate and Federal Chancellor, Helmut Kohl. During the Berlin Air Lift, there was an article about then Capt. Hankins by Joseph Alsop who wrote for the Des Moines Register. He had flown with him in C54 Big Easy103
Clinton received a number of awards, ribbons and medals, including; 2 Air Medals, 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Berlin Air lift Recognition Medal, State of California Certificate of Recognition, and the Federal Republic of Germany Friendship Award. In addition, Clinton received ribbons for the Asiatic Pacific Campaign and Atomic Operations Sandstone, Armed Forces Reserve for Humane Action, WWII, Army of Occupation, National Defense, Air Medal, and the American Campaign.
Clinton was stationed at many bases and flew many places after enlisting in the Army Air Corps at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
He graduated as a Sergeant in 1942-I at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas; North Africa; Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; Abadan, Iran; Natal; Hamilton Field, CA; Fairfield/Suisun Field, CA (Travis AFB); Pacific Kwajalein, Eniwetok; Hickam Field, Hawaiiwhere he claimed it was the only time he ever got shot down, which was by his wife Lois Kelly Field, Texas, West Palm Beach AFB, Florida; Rhine Main/Wiesbaden, Germany; and Charleston AFB, SC.
One of Colonel Hankins stand out memories is that of being a pilot as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps. He was one of the Air Forces approximately 3000 enlisted pilots prior to and during early WWII.
Following his Military career, he became a Correctional Officer for the State of California, from which he retired.
He was a member of the Army Air Corps Enlisted Pilots Assoc., Quiet Birdmen, Daedalians, Gray Eagles, P-38 Assoc., Berlin Air Lift Assoc., Retired Officers Assoc.
Lt. Col. Hankins is survived by his wife Lois; children, Kathleen (Michael), Timothy (Denise), David (Laura), William (Lori); two grandsons; three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.
Our Family was blessed to have had him in our lives as long as we did.
Interment will be held April 15, 2011, 12:30pm at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Midway Road, Dixon, CA with full military honors.
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