Bernard J. Higgins



Preferred Name: 
Barney

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: September 25, 1934

Highest Military Grade Held: Lieutenant Colonel

Hometown: Reading, PA

Biography

Bernard “Barney” Higgins was born in the coal regions of Pennsylvania in 1934. He enlisted in USAF out of high school in 1952 and became an airborne radio operator. He then graduated single-engine pilot training in Class 55U, receiving his USAF commission and fighter pilot’s wings in August 1955.

His first assignment was flying the F86D at Pittsburgh PA. He took an early out from active duty to obtain a BSEE from Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he flew the F-84F with the INDANG. He really disliked engineering and went with United Airlines as a pilot in 1964. While flying for UAL out of EWR and New York, he commuted back to Fort Wayne to again fly the F-84F and then the F-100D. The commuting was too much and he transferred to the Maryland ANG to fly all sorts of trash with propellers – O2A, C-7 Caribou, C-130. He flew thirty years for United Airlines, retiring in 1994.

In his own words he “Never bent metal and never hurt anyone. Someone once told me that you can’t fly forever without getting killed. Nonsense! You just need to be lucky and have a minimal amount of skill.”

Units Assigned

  • 1955 Commissioned/Fighter Wings, USAF
  • 1971-1972 163rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-100)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-86 D/L
F-84F
F-100
O2-A
C-7
C-130

DC-6
DC-8
B-737
B-727
B-767
DC-10

Owned: Aerocommander Lark, Grumman AA5-A, Cessna 210, Glassflugel glider

Wall of Honor Location: Foil: 14 Panel: 1 Column: 3 Line: 14
Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Friend
Dedicated Panel: Retired United Pilots Association

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • BSEE, Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne, IN
Biography

Biography

Bernard “Barney” Higgins was born in the coal regions of Pennsylvania in 1934. He enlisted in USAF out of high school in 1952 and became an airborne radio operator. He then graduated single-engine pilot training in Class 55U, receiving his USAF commission and fighter pilot’s wings in August 1955.

His first assignment was flying the F86D at Pittsburgh PA. He took an early out from active duty to obtain a BSEE from Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he flew the F-84F with the INDANG. He really disliked engineering and went with United Airlines as a pilot in 1964. While flying for UAL out of EWR and New York, he commuted back to Fort Wayne to again fly the F-84F and then the F-100D. The commuting was too much and he transferred to the Maryland ANG to fly all sorts of trash with propellers – O2A, C-7 Caribou, C-130. He flew thirty years for United Airlines, retiring in 1994.

In his own words he “Never bent metal and never hurt anyone. Someone once told me that you can’t fly forever without getting killed. Nonsense! You just need to be lucky and have a minimal amount of skill.”

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1955 Commissioned/Fighter Wings, USAF
  • 1971-1972 163rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-100)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-86 D/L
F-84F
F-100
O2-A
C-7
C-130

DC-6
DC-8
B-737
B-727
B-767
DC-10

Owned: Aerocommander Lark, Grumman AA5-A, Cessna 210, Glassflugel glider

Wall of Honor Location: Foil: 14 Panel: 1 Column: 3 Line: 14
Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Friend
Dedicated Panel: Retired United Pilots Association

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • BSEE, Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne, IN
Photos