BREAKING NEWS: Sonny Hinchman killed in Iraq

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Flags in Worthington were lowered to half-staff on Saturday in honor of a hometown hero who has been killed in Iraq.

The Greene County Daily World has received confirmation that William F. "Sonny" Hinchman was killed when a helicopter went down near Baghdad.

Details are still sketchy but according to early news reports, the helicopter crash is under investigation. Two crew members were killed and two others were injured when the chopper crashed on the Butler Range Complex, a U.S. military training ground just east of Baghdad.

CW5 Ret. Hinchman is believed to have recently completed his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was a helicopter pilot.

Reports indicate that at the time of the crash, Hinchman was working for a private security firm/contractor called Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater.

According to an online blog written by a soldier and friend of Hinchman's, it is not yet known whether there was any hostile fire in the area at the time of the crash.

In the soldier's blog post, he said he had found out Hinchman was one of the pilots and he wrote, "Sonny ... was a legend ... and incredible pilot, a ball to be around, and a true patriot."

Hinchman was a graduate of Worthington-Jefferson High School.

The tragedy of Hinchman's loss comes to a family that has already been hit hard by the loss of another family member in Iraq. Hinchman's niece was married to Staff Sgt. Matthew Alan "Matt" Kimmell who was killed at the age of 30 on Oct. 11, 2005, while serving in Iraq.

This story will be updated when more details are released to the media.

View 17 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • In Pace Requiescat - Sonny Hinchman

    There may have been no more than a dozen people I have met in my life that I have immediately liked; some for their warmth, or humor, or unassuming unpretentious way. I only met Sonny twice, and he was all of the above. I will list not getting the opportunity to know him more among my great regrets in this life. I am profoundly saddened and heartbroken for the wonderful Hinchman family.

    I found this story printed about Sonny during his first deployment in Iraq:

    "Michael, a soldier in Iraq who has a blog on the net, cited some Kiowa pilots from the 1st Cavalry Division that had been dropping soccer balls from their helicopters after completing their missions. One story in particular really struck a chord.

    "I remember this one time when we came down, ready to drop a few balls and we see this kid standing off in the distance. He had his arm cocked back to his ear, just ready to hurl a rock at us. I pulled one of the balls out and tossed it to him. The kid just stood there for a second, like he really wasn't sure what to do, but then he dropped that rock, grabbed the ball and gave us the thumbs up. That was cool." --Chief Warrant Officer Sonny Hinchman, Kiowa pilot."

    -- Posted by rbailey on Sat, Jul 18, 2009, at 10:05 PM
  • Sonny WAS a legend, an incredible pilot, and an more importantly, an incredible person. He was the class clown and could always make you smile. You will be missed William Joseph Francis Hinchman. Many prayers for his family.

    -- Posted by Rambler 85 on Sat, Jul 18, 2009, at 10:06 PM
  • my apologies, I believe I reversed his middle names. We lost one of the best. But flying is what he always wanted to do. I'm glad he left us doing what he loved to do.

    -- Posted by Rambler 85 on Sat, Jul 18, 2009, at 10:35 PM
  • Prayers to his family & friends. Thanks to him for his service!

    -- Posted by MommiezBoyz on Sat, Jul 18, 2009, at 11:34 PM
  • sad sad. thank you for your service. R.I.P

    -- Posted by big miner on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 3:38 AM
  • We love you Sonny!!

    -- Posted by balhcet on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 10:27 AM
  • My heart just aches! Knowing him since we were very small until he graduated early to pursue his dream as a pilot, if you ever had the pleasure of being a part of Sonny's life you know that you had no other choice but to adore him! How proud I am to call this incredible hero my friend and he will truly be missed!

    -- Posted by changeitup on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 11:18 AM
  • Has the family been officially notified or are we basing this on a blog just asking because it says nothing about the family or them being notified? Bless his family for his and their sacrifice!! Till they all come home!!

    -- Posted by stephbelieves on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 11:41 AM
  • This is very sad to hear. My brother was in the military, I know it has to be hard for this man's family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

    -- Posted by Lucille77 on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 11:56 AM
  • How old was he?

    -- Posted by gary g on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 3:36 PM
  • The Hinchman family is one like no other, so it comes as no surprise that Sonny was also one of a kind. He was light-hearted and his smile lit a room. He will be missed, but never forgotten. Our prayers go out to the Hinchman family as they lay to rest a true hero!

    -- Posted by taximom on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 10:29 PM
  • I am so sorry to hear of this horrible story. My husband has been deployed to Iraq twice and this is the fear of every family...that you pray every day that your soldier comes home safe. My deepest sympathy to his family.

    He is truly a hero to America.

    -- Posted by soldierswife24 on Mon, Jul 20, 2009, at 10:55 AM
  • Sonny was my best friend in Baghdad. He and started with Blackwater/Presidential Airways together, trained together, and deployed together. Even though the missions and environment were tough we always laughed everyday. We were the best of friends from day one. Anyone that met him was his friend. I let Baghdad on R&R two weeks before the accident. He and I parted with a hand shake and a promise to be safe out there. I was looking forward to getting back there atthe end of July so we could fly together again. He was a blast to know, an excellent pilot, and guy that loved his boys so much. He and I would talk about his boys NCAA football careers with a real excitment in his eyes. Some day I would like to meet them, tell them what a good guy he was, and give them the last two months of pictures I took of their dad working with me. You were my brother Sonny.

    -- Posted by Sky9capt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009, at 1:02 PM
  • Please excuse the typing errors in the last posting. I was typing on an iPhone with tears in my eyes. This is very difficult for everyone that knew him. My prayers are with his family.

    -- Posted by Sky9capt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009, at 4:30 PM
  • God bless this American Hero, My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

    -- Posted by dennisb1953 on Mon, Jul 20, 2009, at 10:10 PM
  • I was sonny's flight school roomate until the untimely passing of his father. He was an amazing comrade. One time he fell asleep in the bus returning us from flight training, the bus driver dropped us off, save Sonny and parked the bus with Sonny still inside. Sonny finally woke up due to excessive heat and had to escape out a window. He hitchiked back to the barracks. My heart is truly saddened by his passing. A Great American with a heart of gold-Mac

    -- Posted by macmcroberts on Thu, Jul 23, 2009, at 10:37 AM
  • My thoughts & prayers go out to the family especially his mother, Nina. He will be missed. Sonny, thank you.

    -- Posted by mbg_2014 on Sun, Jul 26, 2009, at 8:55 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: