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He Wanted Wings
12 August 2012 | Arlington, Virginia
Hugh Robert McKibbin was my father. He was born in Beaverton, Gladwin, Michigan where his father, a veteran of the Spanish American War in the Phillipines (Marine Corps) owned a road construction company, a resort at Houghton Lake, a livery and an egg shipping company. He was also a state representative to the Michigan Legislature in Lansing. When Hugh was a young teenager, he knew that he wanted to fly. It is strange that he was born in the same year as naval aviation, 1911. Hugh graduated from high school in Detroit, Michigan and won an appointment to the United States' Naval Academy at Annapolis. He entered at the age of 17 and when he graduated, he was in the top half of his class of 1933. He served on the USS Oklahoma, and then he attended flight school at Pensacola where he got his wings in 1936. Dad was a first rate pilot and line officer. He flew Admiral Nimitz and was chosen to fly for Secretary Knox the Secretary of the Navy, which was quite an honor. His career spanned nearly thirty years, during which he was the first in his class to get a wing at Whidbey Naval Air Station, and he served with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and also as the Deputy Chief of MAAG in Taipei, Taiwan. He also served as executive officer of the USS Antietam, and as the skipper of the U.S.S. Jupiter during the Korean War. My father is buried with my mother, Eleanor, in Arlington Navional Cemetery.