David Ray Basinger
I left active duty in May 1960. I came back to flying via a transfer to the Marine Corps Reserve flying A-4’s out of Alameda, California.
That led to my career as a pilot for TWA where I started on the Connie, flew the 707, 747, and briefly as Captain on the 727. But my best experiences came while on active duty in the USAF flying the Hun.
David Ray Basinger, 82, of Louisville, Kentucky and Punta Gorda, Florida, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2015, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. David was the son of Arden Ray Basinger, MD and Margaret Pottorf Basinger of North Canton, Ohio.
David served in the United States Air Force where he was an F-100 Super Sabre pilot stationed in Europe with the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron. David enjoyed a successful career as an international pilot for Trans World Airlines. Highlights of David’s career include his calm under pressure during a hijacking of a 707 to Cuba in 1969, and his receiving the Trans World Airlines Award of Excellence as First Officer of the Year in Vienna, Austria in 1976. In his retirement, David piloted his sailboat WINGS with First Mate Susan thousands of miles down the rivers and along the Intracoastal Waterway of Florida and the Carolinas.
His family said that they will miss his gentle manner, his dedication to our family, and the lively music that he played on his harmonica.
David is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan (Wakefield) Basinger, son Scott David (Jennifer) of Odenton, Maryland, daughter Sarah Basinger Youngblood (friend Wesley Reynolds) of Eagle, Colorado, and sister Barbara Wise of Hudson, Ohio.
Also surviving are his adored grandchildren Carter Allison and Hunter Wakefield Youngblood, who knew him as Gran-D, and William Scott and Emma Rose Basinger who called him Pop-Pop.
The Basinger family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Jane Cornett for her generous and exceptional care of David and his family in his last days.
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 17 in the Chapel of Christ Church United Methodist, with a private burial in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, KY.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of memorial gifts may be made to Christ Church United Methodist or Hosparus.
- 1956 Primary Pilot Training, Bainbridge AB, GA (T-34, T-28)
- 1956 Basic, Bryan AFB, TX, T-33
- 1956 Advanced Pilot Training, Luke AFB, AZ, (F-84-F)
- Nellis AFB, NV (F-100A)
- 1956-1957 – 561st FBS/388th FBW Etain AB, France (F-100D)
- 1957-1960 8th TFS, 49th TFW Etain AB, France, and Spangdahlem AB, Germany (F-100D/F)
Awards & Decorations
Military & Civilian Education
- 1952 North Canton High School
- 1955 BA, Ohio Wesleyan University