Reinhart, Victor John, Lt Col

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1531-Navigator, Tanker
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1971-1971, 4950th Test Wing
Service Years
1943 - 1971
Lieutenant Colonel

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MSgt Greg Peterson (Zip) to remember Reinhart, Victor John, Lt Col.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
New Ulm
Last Address
3291 Suburban Drive
Dayton, OH 45432

Date of Passing
Jun 13, 1971
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Memorial Section K Site 393

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In the Line of Duty
  2017, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Department of the Air Force
Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Division (AFSC)
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Ohio 45433

21 June 1971

Mrs. Elizabeth C. Reinhart
209 South Minnesota Street
New Ulm, MN  56073

Dear Mrs. Reinhart

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the death of your son Lt. Colonel Victor J. Reinhart.  Vic was highly respected by the members of the 4950th Test Wing.

I would like to convey to you the circumstances of Vic's death as we understand them.  Vic was aboard a C-135B aircraft that departed American Samoa the morning of 13 June 1971 enroute to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.  Abut two hours out of Hickam Air Foce Base, radio contact with the aircraft was lost.  An air rescue aircraft was immediately dispatched along the C-135B's route of flight.  Approximately seven hundred miles South West of of Hawaii the search aircraft observed a crash position indicator and debris floating on the water.  United States Navy destroyer USS Edwards and a British merchant vessel, the Amalric, proceeded to the crash location along with six rescue aircraft and established a search pattern which was carried out for five days.  The search revealed numerous amounts of debris which have been identified as that of a C-135B aircraft.  Positive identification of the debris from the C-135B Aircraft Vick was aboard has been made.  All circumstances and factors involved have been analyzed and evaluated by the on-sight commander at Hickam Air Force Base and conclusive evidence of death is considered to exist.

I am proud to have been associated with Vic, and I join with the men of the 4950th Test Wing in expressing our deepest sympathy at his loss.


James T. Stewart
Lt. General, USAF
Other Comments:

"A Boeing C-135B plane, (#  61-0331) was destroyed in an accident in the Pacific Ocean, 113 km off Hawaii, USA.  All 24 crew members were killed. The airplane operated on a flight from Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) to Honolulu-Hickam AFB, HI (HIK).

The C-135 was operated by USAF, 4950th Test Wing for the Space and Missile System Office (SAMSO). It had been observing the French Encelade atmospheric nuclear test at Mururoa." 

This aircraft was a former Telemetry Range Instrumentation Aircraft, it had been recently converted to detect and analyze nuclear explosions and their related electromagnetic pulses.

Those lost were:

Colonel Billy L. Skipworth - Pilot and commander of the 2nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron
Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Reinhart , navigator
Major William H. Unsderfer,  aircraft commander
Major William E. Page,Jr. -pilot
Major John R. McGinn, navigator
Major Joseph B. William
Captain Byron C. Burnett , Copilot
1st Lt. James M. Gilbert, III
TSgt. Hubert Miles, Jr., boom operator
Staff Sergeant Kenneth S. Kowal, crew chief 
Staff Sergeant Elno R. Reimer - flight engineer  (listed as Reimer, Welmer, and Wirner in all news reports)

Major Joseph B. WIlliam
Captain Perry T. Rose, pilot

Anthony J. Theriault, an employee of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory
John P. Cahill, an employee of the Air Force Cambridge
David Penney, an employee of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory
Dean L. Hoar, an employee of Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace
Rolla F. Blanchard, an employee of Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace
Charles V. Ditto, an employee of Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace
Thomas R. Connor
Donald E. Ashland
John B. Tumas, an employee of LTV Electro Systems
Edward M. Slagel, an employee of Westinghouse Corp.
Dr. Thomas J. Walter, an employee of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory
Allen Morissette, an employee of Avco Corp.

News article:

"Abileneian's Relative on Missing Plane,"  The Abilene Report News, 15 June 1971, pp. 1 and 4

His body was not recovered. He has a memorial stone in Arlington.
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 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight School917th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy4950th Test Wing
  1943-1943, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1961-1961, 1531, 917th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy
  1971-1971, 4950th Test Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II/American Theater
 Colleges Attended 
  1946-1950, Others/Not Listed
 My Aircraft/Missiles
KC-97 Stratotanker  KC-135 Stratotanker  C-135 Stratolifter  
  1951-1953, KC-97 Stratotanker
  1954-1960, KC-135 Stratotanker
  1970-1971, C-135 Stratolifter1
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