Walter Hinton

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Walter T. Hinton
Hinton, about 1926.
Born (1888-11-10)10 November 1888
Van Wert, Ohio
Died 28 October 1981(1981-10-28) (aged 92)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Known for Transatlantic flight

Walter T. Hinton (10 November 1888 – 28 October 1981) was a United States aviator.

Hinton was born in a farming family in Van Wert, Ohio. Seeing a poster urging young men to "Join the Navy and See The World", he joined the United States Navy. He saw action in the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, Mexico. Hinton had a great fascination with early aircraft, and soon went into Naval aviation.

Hinton achieved fame as one of the two pilots, along with Elmer F. Stone, of the Curtiss NC flying boat "NC-4", the first aircraft to make a transatlantic flight, in May 1919.[1] After the successful completion of this journey, he was made a knight of the Order of the Tower and Sword by the Portuguese government on 3 June 1919.[2] As a member of the NC-4 crew, he was awarded the Navy Cross[3] and later received a Congressional Gold Medal in 1929.

Hinton's aeronautic adventures during the 1920s include exploring the Arctic by balloon, and a wayward flight from Rockaway, Queens to Moose Factory, Ontario in the winter, which caused a month-long hike to civilization.[4] Hinton and Kloor wrote letters home which their families sold to newspapers describing the flight, which prompted the Navy to start enforcing rarely used censorship rules.[5] Hinton made the first flight from North America to South America (on the second try—he floated on a wing in shark infested waters off Cuba for a while at the end of the first try), and explored the Amazon Rainforest by hydroplane.[6]

He spent years touring as a speaker promoting aviation.

Hinton spent his retirement in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he delighted in sharing his memories with local children. One of his happiest events of his later years was being a special guest on an early supersonic transatlantic flight of the Concorde, making the trip which had first taken Hinton 19 days in less than four hours.

Hinton was President and Founder of the Aviation Institute of U.S.A Washington D.C. in 1927 and 1928, where he published several periodicals on aviation.[7] Periodicals included Opportunities in Aviation,[8] The Wright Whirlwind Motor, Pioneers in Aviation, Aviation Progress, and "Wings of Opportunity".

After his death in 1981, his ashes were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[9]


  1. ^ Popular Aeronautics: 67. Jan 1930.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas" [Portuguese Honorary Orders]. Presidency of the Portuguese Republic (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-04-14. 
  3. ^ Annual Reports of the Navy Department for the Fiscal Year 1920. Government Printing Office. 1921. p. 414. Retrieved 2018-04-21. 
  4. ^ Aerial Age: 471. 25 July 1921.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Airman's letters may cause Navy to censor officer's writings". Editor & Publisher: 11. 15 January 1921. 
  6. ^ Pictures of him can be seen on pages 379 and 404 of the April 1926 National Geographic Magazine
  7. ^ Popular Mechanics: 16. January 1930.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Walter Hinton (1929). Opportunities in aviation. W.W. Norton & Company, inc. 
  9. ^ "Hinton, Walter". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 2018-04-14. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Walter T. Hinton at Wikimedia Commons