Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr.
|Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr.|
July 2, 1928|
|Died||July 26, 1958
Edwards Air Force Base, California
|Other occupation||Test Pilot|
|Selection||1957 MISS Group|
Kincheloe was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Cassopolis, Michigan. He was interested in aircraft from a very young age. He attended Purdue University, where he majored in aeronautical engineering, joined the ROTC and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon-Indiana Alpha fraternity. In the summer of 1948, the ROTC cadet was able to meet Chuck Yeager and sit in the cockpit of the Bell X-1.
After graduating in 1949, Kincheloe received his commission in the U.S. Air Force. He spent a year as a test pilot flying the F-86E at Edwards Air Force Base before being promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Korea in September 1951. During the war, he flew F-80s on 30 missions and F-86s on 101 missions, downing five MiG-15s (becoming an ace and earning the Silver Star) before returning to the U.S. in May 1952. At this time, he had reached the rank of captain.
After the war, he again became a test pilot, participating in the testing of the Century Series of fighter aircraft (F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, and F-106 Delta Dart). In the mid-1950s, Kincheloe joined the Bell X-2 program and on September 7, 1956, flew at more than 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) and to a height of 126,200 feet (38,500 m) (some sources list 126,500), the first flight ever above 100 000 feet. For this he was nicknamed "America's No. 1 Spaceman". The X-2 program was halted just three weeks later after a fatal crash resulted in the death of Mel Apt in a flight in which Apt became the first person to exceed Mach 3. Three years later, Kincheloe was selected as one of the first three pilots in the next rocket-powered aircraft program, the X-15, and would have been part of the Man In Space Soonest project. He was killed in the crash of an F-104A at Edwards AFB, and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
- In September 1959, Kinross Air Force Base in Michigan's Upper Peninsula was renamed in his honor; the base closed in September 1977.
- A monument stands approximately 1-1/2 miles east of his hometown of Cassopolis, Michigan; it is an angular stone slab twelve feet high bearing a silver model of the X-2 pointed skyward.
- Kincheloe Elementary School, part of the nearby Dowagiac Union School District, is named in his honor.
- In 1992, he was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor.
- In 2011, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
- The Iven C. Kincheloe Award is named in his honor.
- Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr. is on his grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery.
However, his first name is sometimes spelled Ivan.
Bryan, C. D. B. (1979-09-23). "The Right Stuff". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-04-02. (The Right Stuff, however, consistently uses Iven).
"Astronaut bio: Robert L. Crippen". NASA, Johnson Space Center. 1997. Retrieved 2006-04-02.
- Burns, Curtis A. (1975). "Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe, Jr.". National Museum of the United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2006-04-02.
- "Captain Iven C. Kincheloe Jr.". Air Force Link. Archived from the original on 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2006-04-02.
- Taylor, Michael J.H.; Christopher Chant (other chapters) (1999). "The chronology of flight 1940 to [1999-03-25]". The world's greatest aircraft. Hertfordshire: Regency House Publishing Ltd. p. 388. ISBN 1-85605-523-X. "The Bell X-2 research aircraft is flown by Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe to an altitude of 126,200 ft (38,466m)."
- "Eisenhower asks favor of the 1972-'76 president". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 18, 1958. p. 4.
- "50th Annual Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony". National Aviation Hall of Fame website. Retrieved on 2011-07-23.
- Mumford, Lou (2011-07-22). "An Honor Long Overdue". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- Korean War Aces
- USAF Museum
- Story about exploits @ CombatSim
- "Cassopolis native first man in space" - South Bend Tribune, September 7, 2006
- "Kincheloe monument restored, rededicated" - South Bend Tribune, September 24, 2006
- Photograph of Kincheloe with other pilots of his squadron wearing red caps and scarves, "Sabres and Aces", Air Force Magazine, September 2006, p. 81.
- Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr. Photograph of his grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery, with brief biography.