Hamilton County

Capt. Eric W. Hutchison, Jr.




Eric W. Hutchison, of Webster City, has been transferred from Springville, Mo., to San Antonio, Texas, for advanced training in the army air corps. 

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, June 5, 1943


Mrs. Eric W. Hutchinson of this city has just received a letter from Major Gen. G. C. Brant, commander of the gulf coast training center at Randolph Field, Texas, in which he notifies her that her son, Eric jr., had been classified for pilot training and has been appointed an aviation cadet in the army air forces.

The Major’s letter says in part:
“The duties of an army pilot call for a high degree of mental and physical alertness, sound judgment and an inherent aptitude for flying.  Men who will make good material for training as pilots are rare.  The classification board believes your boy  is one of them and that he will in all probability win his wings as a military pilot…………….I congratulate you and him.”

Prior to enlisting in the Army, Hutchinson was a student at the local junior college and a member of the college basketball quintet.  His wife, the former Donna Crouse, and a daughter reside in Webster City.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, June 29, 1943

Mrs. Orpha L. Bashford, of this city, has successfully qualified and enlisted in the women’s army corps, according to a dispatch from the Iowa WAC recruiting office in Des Moines.  Mrs. Bashford’s husband, Cpl. Joseph M. Bashford, is stationed at Kingman, Arizona.  Her son, Aviation Cadet Eric W. Hutchison Jr, is taking training at Mission, Texas.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, Wednesday, March 8, 1944


Webster City Airman Pilots Jet Launcher
Capt. Eric Hutchison, Jr., Has Key Part in Historic Test

(AP) Atomic Test Site Nev.—The first air-to-air atomic rocket fired from a plane burst over the desert Friday with a flash that pales the morning sun.

The air defense command’s newest and most powerful weapon exploded at 8 a.m. CST.

The vivid fireball flared in the target area at an altitude of more than 19,000 feet and sent up a pink doughnut-shaped cloud.

Launched from Fighter
The nuclear rocket was launched from a Northrop F89 Scorpion jet fighter.

The rocket launching plane was piloted by Capt. Eric Hutchison, of Webster City, Iowa, with Capt. Alfred Barbee of Wild Rice, N.D., as radar observer and weaponeer……...

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, July 19, 1957

Hutchison Rites to Be Wednesday

Major Eric W. Hutchison, 42, prominent Webster City Air Force officer, died suddenly at Chelmsford, Mass.

He and his family had just returned from Germany, Major Hutchison being transferred to Peterson Field, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. Paul Heath officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery. Military services will be held.

Eric W. Hutchison, son or Eric and Orpha Hutchison, was born July 1, 1923, at Webster City. He attended the Webster City schools and was graduated in 1941.

He was united in marriage Nov. 29, 1942, to Donna Crouse.

He attended Webster City Junior college for a year and a half, then entered the U.S. Air Force and served overseas during World War II.

After completing his JC training, he was in business in Webster City until 1952 when he re-entered the Air Force. He was stationed in Alaska before being assigned to overseas duty being located for two years in France and for the past year in Germany. The family had returned to the states Aug. 11.

The Webster City airman was the first airman to fire the new air-to-air missile in 1957 while stationed at Indian Spring, Nevada.

He was preceded in death by his father in 1964.

Major Hutchison was a member of the Methodist church, the Elks and Moose lodges and was also a member of the American Legion.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - August 16, 1965

Hutchison Rites Held Wednesday

Funeral services for Major Eric W. Hutchison, 42, were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Foster Funeral Home with the Rev. Paul Heath officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Ivan Hutson was vocal soloist with Mrs. Gertrude Neudeck as organist.

Pallbearers were personnel from Offutt Air Force base at Omaha, Neb.

Honorary pallbearers were Paul Swope, Stanley Shelton, John Ostlund, Lawrence Kayser, Melvin Greenley and Don Brandrup.

Major Hutchison died suddenly last Saturday morning at Chelmsford, Mass.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - August 19, 1965

Contributor Notes:

Eric W. ‘Hutch’ Hutchison, Jr. was born July 1, 1923, to William and Orpha Balsley Hutchison. He married Donna Laurine Crouse July 5, 1942 in Princeton, Mo. Both Eric and Donna graduated from Lincoln High School in Webster City. Eric also attended junior college in Webster City before enlisting in the air corps. After completing his primary training he was transferred to Waco, TX for his basic training. Eric was stationed in Wisconsin, California, Florida, Alabama, Ohio, France and Germany. Capt. Hutchison died Aug. 14, 1965, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA