30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Phillip Ardath Hawkins
Following release from USAF active duty in 1960, I returned to The Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company as an agent in Springfield, Illinois. I then joined the Illinois Air National Guard (170th TFS), and 10 months later the unit was called to active duty during the Berlin crisis.
When again released from active duty with USAF in August 1962, I returned to the insurance agency in Springfield. The company was in the process of extending its operation to St. Louis.
In October 1963 I accepted a GS-12 position with the Air National Guard Unit as an Air Technician (the best job that I ever had). At the time there was no retirement provision other than from the military duty. Supposedly, it was about to come about, but with a family, I decided that it was time to join the airlines.
In the fall of 1966, I Joined Braniff International Airways, starting off as a flight engineer on the Boeing-707 that provided me with my Vietnam tour transporting troops. I eventually made Captain flying the Boeing-727. Braniff declared bankruptcy in 1982, reorganized and continued operations until 1989, again declaring bankruptcy. They reorganized, but I did not return a third time.
My family had started a wood products manufacturing company which we operated until 2000. I then decided that it was time to look into an active retirement.
I lost my wife Sharon in 2011 and now I stay busy with housework, yard work, family history, music, etc. There is just no end to the things that one can find to do.
Update: “2018.06.03 Flew with Dean Cutshall in his F-100 F #563948. Taxied, take-off, turns, rolls. Whooooopie!!”
Seems like a good final ending for the bio. Great way to celebrate my 3 June 85th birthday.
To see Phil Hawkins info and photos at the ACPL Genealogy Center go to https://www.genealogycenter.info/military/peacetime/search_philliphawkins.php