Joseph Hillner, Jr.


 

Preferred Name: Joe

Nickname/Call Sign: Joe

Date of Birth: Dec 9, 1930

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Biography

I received my wings at Luke AFB, NM in Class ‘53G and went on to training in the F-84 D, E and G. In April of 1953 I was sent to Bergstrom AFB in Texas to fly the F-84F with the 27th Strategic Fighter Wing. However, the F was grounded most of the time, and we got our time as co-pilots in KB-29 Tankers.

After tours in Korea, Japan and France, I went on rotation to Kelly AFB, TX with the 1708 Ferrying Wing Detachment 12, where I flew simultaneously in the T-6, T-28, T-33, F-86 A, E, & F, and the L-20. The Wing was deactivated I the Spring of 1958.

I ended up in Supply School in Cheyenne, WY then on Chaumont France with the 48th Tactical Fighter Group. Before signing in at Chaumont I ran into my first Squadron CO at Bergstrom, Lt Col Al Fell, who introduced me to Col Bruce Hinton, 48th DO. He got me released from the M&S Group CO and sent me to the 494th TFS, flying F-100 D, and F.  We transferred to RAF Lakenheath in January of 1960.  I rotated to Cannon AFB. NM, with the 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/27th Tactical Fighter Wing, for the second time (Austin and F-84F the first).

I went to US Army Parachute School while stationed at Cannon, then PCS to Ft. Riley, KS as a hardcore ALO/FAC.  My tour in Viet Nam started via rail and water with the Big Red One from Ft. Riley, flying the O-1 Bird Dog.

I then returned temporarily to Ft. Riley, then PCS to TAC Headquarters and a tour with Fighter Ops.  In the Summer of 1969, PCS to Torrejon AB, Spain and became CO of the F-4 E Fighter Squadron until promotion to full Colonel and subsequent PCS as Base Commander of Aviano AB, Italy.

After rotation back to ZI in 1972 and attendance in AWC, I retired in 1973 while attending AWC. It was a wonderful 20+ years in USAF.

Units Assigned

  • 5/1952 Commissioned via USAFROTC
  • 8/1952 Primary Pilot Training, Hondo AB, TX
  • 12/1953 Class ‘53G, Basic Pilot Training, Foster AFB, TX (Received my wings)
  • 1/1954-4/1954 F-84 Training,Luke AFB, AZ (F-84 D/E/G)
  • 4/1954 27th Strategic Fighter Wing, Bergstrom AFB, TX to (F-84F/KB-29).
  • 7/1954 Japanese Air Defense, Fuchu, Japan (F-84)
  • 1954 58th/474th Fighter-Bomber Squadron/58th Fighter-Bomber Wing, K-2 Korea, (F-86F)
  • 1955 1708 Ferrying Wing Detachment, Kelly AFB, TX (T-6, T-28, T-33, F-86 A/E/F, L-20)
  • 1958 Supply School in Cheyenne, WY
    1959 48th Tactical Fighter Wing/494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Chaumont AB, France
  • 1/1960 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lakenheath AB, England (F-100 D/F)
  • 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, NM (F-84F, F-100)
  • US Army Parachute School, Cannon AFB, NM
  • ALO/FAC Ft. Riley, KS as a hard core ALO/FAC.
    Ft. Riley/Viet Nam via rail and water with the Big Red One (O-1 Bird Dog)
  • 1969, PCS, CO of F-4 fighter Squadron, Torrejon AB, Spain and CO  of the (F-4 E)
  • Base Commander, Aviano AB, Italy.
  • 1972 AWC
  • 1973 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-84 D/E/F/G
KB-29
F-86 A/E/F
L-20
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-100 D/F
O-1
F-4E

Military Education

  • Primary/Basic Pilot Training
  • US Army Parachute School

Civilian Education

  • 1948 St. Louis University High School
  • 6/1952 St. Louis University
Biography

Biography

I received my wings at Luke AFB, NM in Class ‘53G and went on to training in the F-84 D, E and G. In April of 1953 I was sent to Bergstrom AFB in Texas to fly the F-84F with the 27th Strategic Fighter Wing. However, the F was grounded most of the time, and we got our time as co-pilots in KB-29 Tankers.

After tours in Korea, Japan and France, I went on rotation to Kelly AFB, TX with the 1708 Ferrying Wing Detachment 12, where I flew simultaneously in the T-6, T-28, T-33, F-86 A, E, & F, and the L-20. The Wing was deactivated I the Spring of 1958.

I ended up in Supply School in Cheyenne, WY then on Chaumont France with the 48th Tactical Fighter Group. Before signing in at Chaumont I ran into my first Squadron CO at Bergstrom, Lt Col Al Fell, who introduced me to Col Bruce Hinton, 48th DO. He got me released from the M&S Group CO and sent me to the 494th TFS, flying F-100 D, and F.  We transferred to RAF Lakenheath in January of 1960.  I rotated to Cannon AFB. NM, with the 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/27th Tactical Fighter Wing, for the second time (Austin and F-84F the first).

I went to US Army Parachute School while stationed at Cannon, then PCS to Ft. Riley, KS as a hardcore ALO/FAC.  My tour in Viet Nam started via rail and water with the Big Red One from Ft. Riley, flying the O-1 Bird Dog.

I then returned temporarily to Ft. Riley, then PCS to TAC Headquarters and a tour with Fighter Ops.  In the Summer of 1969, PCS to Torrejon AB, Spain and became CO of the F-4 E Fighter Squadron until promotion to full Colonel and subsequent PCS as Base Commander of Aviano AB, Italy.

After rotation back to ZI in 1972 and attendance in AWC, I retired in 1973 while attending AWC. It was a wonderful 20+ years in USAF.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 5/1952 Commissioned via USAFROTC
  • 8/1952 Primary Pilot Training, Hondo AB, TX
  • 12/1953 Class ‘53G, Basic Pilot Training, Foster AFB, TX (Received my wings)
  • 1/1954-4/1954 F-84 Training,Luke AFB, AZ (F-84 D/E/G)
  • 4/1954 27th Strategic Fighter Wing, Bergstrom AFB, TX to (F-84F/KB-29).
  • 7/1954 Japanese Air Defense, Fuchu, Japan (F-84)
  • 1954 58th/474th Fighter-Bomber Squadron/58th Fighter-Bomber Wing, K-2 Korea, (F-86F)
  • 1955 1708 Ferrying Wing Detachment, Kelly AFB, TX (T-6, T-28, T-33, F-86 A/E/F, L-20)
  • 1958 Supply School in Cheyenne, WY
    1959 48th Tactical Fighter Wing/494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Chaumont AB, France
  • 1/1960 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lakenheath AB, England (F-100 D/F)
  • 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, NM (F-84F, F-100)
  • US Army Parachute School, Cannon AFB, NM
  • ALO/FAC Ft. Riley, KS as a hard core ALO/FAC.
    Ft. Riley/Viet Nam via rail and water with the Big Red One (O-1 Bird Dog)
  • 1969, PCS, CO of F-4 fighter Squadron, Torrejon AB, Spain and CO  of the (F-4 E)
  • Base Commander, Aviano AB, Italy.
  • 1972 AWC
  • 1973 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-84 D/E/F/G
KB-29
F-86 A/E/F
L-20
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-100 D/F
O-1
F-4E

Military Education

  • Primary/Basic Pilot Training
  • US Army Parachute School

Civilian Education

  • 1948 St. Louis University High School
  • 6/1952 St. Louis University