Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association
Captain Howard Vernon Bayne, 92, flew West for the last time on March 10, 2015, slipping the “surly bonds of earth and touching the face of God”. He began his flight on August 7, 1922, in Elkton, Maryland and became one of America's Greatest Generation.
Captain Bayne had a long and distinguished career in aviation, serving his country during World War II, and after, as a pilot in the Army Air Corp and the United States Air Force. In 1950, he was hired by the famous Flying Tiger Airline, logging thousands of hours flying to all the world's great cities. He has flown every manner of aircraft, a testimony to the historical evolution of flight, from the biplane, Stearman, , the B-24, the Goony Bird, the C-54, the Constellation, the CL-44, the DC-8, and finally the Boeing 747.
Captain Bayne enjoyed the challenges of flying right up to his forced retirement at age 60.
During WWII, his base of operations was North Africa. One night in a Casablanca bar(just like the movie), he sang songs while Irving Berlin played the piano. After the war, in 1948 and 49, his transport squadron participated in the pivotal Berlin Airlift, flying supplies in harrowing fashion around the clock to a starving Berlin populace isolated by the Russian regime. He was awarded the Air Medal.
As a Flying Tiger pilot, he flew many refugee evacuations, in and out of Eastern Europe, rescuing the casualties of the brutal Russian suppression of Hungary in 1956. The Flying Tiger pilots were tasked to help supply the construction crews building the crucial DEW Line on the Arctic Circle in the mid 1950's. Aviation in sub zero conditions tested every pilot and their aircraft. Flying in blizzard conditions, and landing on frozen lakes was done by “the seat of your pants” in those days. Captain Bayne flew many hazardous missions into and out of U.S bases in South Viet Nam and Thailand during the Viet Nam War, bringing in troops and supplies, and evacuating the casualties.
Howard is survived by his three children, Donna(Bill), Mark(Bette), Heidi, and his sister Marie Bayne Given, four nieces and a nephew. Preceding him in death, were his parents, Howard and Pearl(Moore) Bayne, and siblings Emilie Bayne Hartnett, and Esther Bayne Freed.
Howard had a generous heart. He would fly his children to many places around the world, places the children could only dream of going.
Howard was proud of his extended family. Sister Marie, through her genealogical efforts provided the fabric for his pride. He was surrounded by the many pictures of his family on the walls at his home at the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford, Oregon. He especially enjoyed receiving pictures of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Howard will miss Donna's children, Bill, Tim, Jenny, and Mark, and the great grandchildren, Evan, Grayson, Eamon, Mila, Henry, Nathan, and Samuel. He will miss Mark's children Justin(Sandy), David and great grandchildren, Lucian, Leila, and Lawson. He will miss Heidi's children, Ryan(Gina), Scott, and Kyle.
Howard lived simply, eschewing luxury and indulgence. His legacy was to protect his progeny. He was their shield, their Guardian Angel.
Howard, “Uncle Vernon”, Brother, and Father, will return to his ancestral home of Wilmington, Delaware. He will join his Family at Gracelawn Memorial Park. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 11 at 10:30 AM.Back To Memorials