Retired June 1, 1975.
Major General John R. Hinton Jr., is the vice commander, Fifteenth Air Force, Strategic Air Command, at March Air Force Base, Calif. Fifteenth Air Force is responsible for Strategic Air Command operations in the Western United States and Alaska. Its mixed force of reconnaissance and bomber aircraft and missiles supports the national strategic deterrence mission.
General Hinton was born in Crawfordsville, Ark. He graduated from Grand Prairie High School, Grand Prairie, Texas, and then attended North Texas Agricultural College. He has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland, and graduated from the Air Command and Staff School, 1956.
He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in February 1943, received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in April 1944, and completed B-26 transition training at Laughlin Field, Texas. During World War II in July 1944, General Hinton went overseas and served as a B-26 pilot with the 397th Bombardment Group of the Ninth Air Force in France and Holland. He flew 35 combat missions with 135 combat hours in the European Theater of Operations. In July 1946 he returned to the United States and was released from active duty to the Air Force Reserve as a captain.
In May 1948 General Hinton again entered active duty and served as a squadron commander at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., until September 1951 when he entered the University of Maryland. In February 1952 he was assigned as an operations staff officer with the commander in chief, South, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with headquarters in Naples, Italy. He entered the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in July 1955.
General Hinton next completed B-29 and C-97 transition training and was assigned in December 1956 to the Strategic Air Command's 310th Bombardment Wing at Smoky Hill Air Force Base (redesignated Schilling Air Force Base), Kan. He served as a KC-97 pilot for the 310th Air Refueling Squadron; commander of the 36th Aviation Depot Squadron; and then commander of the 310th Air Refueling Squadron. He attended the KC-135 Stratotanker combat crew training course at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., from January 1960 to May 1960.
He then moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., where he became commander of the 928th Air Refueling Squadron and later commander of the 28th Air Refueling Squadron. He returned to Castle Air Force Base for combat crew training in the B-52 Stratofortress and in August 1961 was assigned as commander of the 77th Bombardment Squadron and later was deputy commander for operations, 28th Bombardment Wing, at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
In April 1964 General Hinton moved to March Air Force Base, Calif., where he first was deputy base commander. In July 1965 he was transferred to Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force as chief of Operations Plans Division, then was chief, Operations and Training Division, and later assistant deputy chief of staff for operations.
In April 1967 General Hinton was transferred to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., as vice commander of the 450th Bombardment Wing and later assumed command of that wing. He went to K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich., in July 1968 as commander of the 410th Bombardment Wing.
General Hinton assumed command of the 307th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in July 1970. He commanded all B-52 and KC-135 aircraft based in Southeast Asia in support of the Seventh Air Force and the Military Assistance Command Vietnam. During this period, he flew 42 combat missions in B-52 and KC-135 aircraft, logging more than 300 flying hours.
General Hinton assumed duties as chief of staff, Fifteenth Air Force, at March Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1971. He was appointed inspector general of Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in February 1973. He returned to Fifteenth Air Force in September 1974 as vice commander.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
General Hinton's hometown is Grand Prairie, Texas.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective April 24, 1974, with date of rank July 1, 1971.