Capt. William H. Eastwood

1/11/20 - 8/10/16

Picture courtesy of Capt. Joe Szaflarski
Information courtesy of Sarah Eastwood Wittman

Capt. Bill Eastwood was born in West Virginia and raised there and in North Carolina. In April, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He was commissioned as an officer in June 1943. In his first month as a B-26 pilot, he flew 14 missions out of Colchester, England. He was part of Air Offensive Europe, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland at Remagen (Ludendorph) Bridge.

He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters for his service. In July, 1945, he left military service as a captain, having flown 65 missions in B-26s.

Bill began flying with Seaboard in 1950. In 1958, he flew the first eastbound transatlantic passenger flight for Aer Lingus (Aerlinte Eireann) from New York to Dublin where they were met by Ireland's president, Éamon de Valera. Later, he served as a check pilot at Seaboard. On July 1, 1968, he was riding as a passenger on a Seaboard flight carrying 214 military passengers from Seattle to Tokyo that was intercepted by Russian MiG fighters and forced to land on Iturup Island in the Kuriles. Bill furnished this account of the incident. He also furnished an account of flying the DC-4.

In addition to his flying, he was an artist, a fine cook, an accomplished carpenter, a lover of literature and poetry, of new ideas. He was a beloved and thoughtful father.

Bill was predeceased by his first wife, of 42 years, Judy. He is survived by his sons, Bill Jr., Jon, Andy, and Tim; daughter, Sarah (Wittman); and six grandsons. He is also survived by his second wife, Carlotta (Charley).

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