Iven's Top Matches
About Iven Carl "Kinch" Kincheloe, Jr.
Iven Carl "Kinch" Kincheloe, Jr. (July 2, 1928 – July 26, 1958) was an American test pilot, recipient of the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross, and an ace in the Korean War.
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. http://nationalaviation.org/kincheloe-jr-iven-carl/
The Iven C. Kincheloe Award is named in his honor.