Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr.

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Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr.
Iven Kincheloe photo portrait head and shoulders.jpg
USAF astronaut
Nationality American
Status Deceased
Born Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr.
(1928-07-02)July 2, 1928
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died July 26, 1958(1958-07-26) (aged 30)
Edwards Air Force Base, California, U.S.
Other occupation
Test pilot
Purdue University
Rank Captain, USAF
Selection 1957 MISS Group
Missions None

Iven Carl "Kinch" Kincheloe, Jr.[1] (July 2, 1928[2] – July 26, 1958[3]) was an American test pilot, recipient of the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross, and an ace in the Korean War.[3]

Early life[edit]

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.

Korean War[edit]

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.

Post-war career[edit]

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,[4] flew at more than 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) and to a height of 126,200 feet (38,500 m)[2][4] (some sources list 126,500[3]), 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.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b 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. 
  3. ^ a b c "Captain Iven C. Kincheloe Jr.". Air Force Link. Archived from the original on 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2006-04-02. 
  4. ^ a b 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). 
  5. ^ "Eisenhower asks favor of the 1972-'76 president". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 18, 1958. p. 4. 
  6. ^ "50th Annual Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony". National Aviation Hall of Fame website. Retrieved on 2011-07-23.
  7. ^ Mumford, Lou (2011-07-22). "An Honor Long Overdue". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 

External links[edit]