Hal W. Vincent

Hal Wellman Vincent (24 September 1927 – 28 April 2015) was a naval aviator in the United States Marine Corps who retired at the rank of major general. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he commanded at the squadron, group and wing level during his career. He flew more than 10,000 hours in over 165 different aircraft and was the first Marine Aviator to fly Mach 2.0.[1][2]

Hal Wellman Vincent
Born (1927-09-24)September 24, 1927
Pontiac, Michigan
Died April 28, 2015(2015-04-28) (aged 87)
San Juan Capistrano, California
Place of Burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1945–1981
Rank Major general
Commands held 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Marine Combat Crew Readiness Training Group 10
VMFA-312
Awards Legion of Merit

. . . Hal W. Vincent . . .

Hal Wellman Vincent was born on 24 September 1927 in Pontiac, Michigan to Harold and Glenda (Wellman) Vincent.[citation needed] He was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Otsego High School in Otsego, Michigan in 1945. That summer he joined the United States Navy‘s V-5 Naval Aviation Cadet Program and during the next year studied at both Colgate University and Western Michigan College. In 1946 he was accepted to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. During his time at the Academy he was the first undefeated welterweight boxing champion during the years 1947 – 1950. [3] He graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical engineering.

He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in June 1950 upon his graduation from the Naval Academy. He attended The Basic School, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia from August 1950 until March 1951. His first assignment with the Fleet Marine Force was as a rifle and machine gun platoon commander with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.[1] In January 1952, he was assigned to flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. After additional training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas and Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas he was designated a Naval Aviator 8 April 1953.[1]

From July to October 1953 he flew F2H-4 Banshees with VMF-214 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. He was transferred overseas for duty with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea. He flew F9F Panthers with VMF-115 and served as assistant operations officer of Marine Aircraft Group 13 (MAG-13) from November 1953 until December 1954.[1]

Following his return to the U.S., Then Captain Vincent began training at the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland in January 1955. He then served for two years as a test pilot with the Flight Test Division. On 7 October 1958 he became the first Marine Corps pilot to fly Mach 2.0.[1] In 1958, he received air instruction at the Navy Fleet Air Gunnery Unit, at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California, then served for two years with the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, at MCAS El Toro, California, as Assistance Operations Officer with VMFA-334 and VMFA-451 while flying the Vought F-8 Crusader. During this period, he also attended the United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

. . . Hal W. Vincent . . .

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. . . Hal W. Vincent . . .

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