Howard F. Reinsch

NO. 17535  •  24 March 1927 - 2 June 1967

Died 24 March 1927 in San Antonio, TX 
Interred in Ashton, IA

HOWARD FRANK REINSCH was born in Ashton, IA, in 1927 to Dr. and Mrs. Frank Reinsch. "Home schooling" was an unknown entity during Howard's early life in Ashton, but his public school education was augmented by study with his father. Their basement served as a laboratory, where they pursued chemistry and biology, and their kitchen table is where he learned higher math. By age 16, Howard had enough schooling to be admitted to Morningside College in Sioux City, where he played semi­pro basketball in his spare time. He also developed from his father a lifelong love of fishing and golf. He returned to Ashton in 1944 and graduated from Ashton High School as valedictorian of his class.

After high school graduation, Howard joined the Merchant Marines, serving until 1945. He returned home and enrolled at the University of Minnesota to study chemical engineering.

I met my future husband on a blind date arranged by his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother and my Alpha Gamma Delta sister. We dated until his acceptance to the Academy and entrance in July 1946 with the Class of '50.

One of Howard's roommates, John Ahearn, told me he was always impressed with Howard's great relationship with his dad. One time during Plebe year, Howard, not unlike many new cadets, became fed up with the system and considered resigning. His father's response to this news was essentially, "Son, if you have given your best and West Point decides you’re not good enough, you come home with your head high ... but you don’t quit!" As a true son of the "Corn Belt," Howard went on to enjoy cadet life and to inspire his G‑2 classmates with his basketball ability and his academic prowess. Another roommate, Jack Hendry, recalls that Howie was a good friend, well liked, easy to get along with, and an excellent student with a special liking for social sciences, tactics, law, and physical education.

Howard graduated on 6 Jun 1950, and we married on 17 June in Minneapolis, MN. Howard entered the Air Force with his first assignment at Randolph AFB, TX, for basic flight training. He then went to Vance AFB, Enid, OK, for advanced training, graduating on 4 Aug 1951, the very day our twin daughters, Janet and Joyce, were born. Training in B‑29s at Randolph AFB was next, followed by seven months at Kadena AFB, Okinawa, flying missions over Korea. He was then assigned to B‑47 training at Barksdale, Ellington, and Connally bases. During 1954‑58, he was at Schilling AFB, KS, and Castle AFB, CA, flying B‑52s. The years 1958‑62 found us at Altus AFB, OK, where daughter Suzanne was born in 1960.

A transfer to the Minuteman Missile program offered Howard the opportunity to study for his master's degree from the Armed Forces Institute of Technology. After training at Vandenberg AFB, CA, we were stationed at Malmstrom AFB, MT, during 1962‑66. Following promotion to lieutenant colonel, Howard trained as a Missile Safety Officer and was transferred to Little Rock AFB, AR.

Sadly, Howard became ill with cancer and died in San Antonio, TX, in June 1967, just 17 years after graduating from West Point. He is buried in Ashton, IA, and we feel his spirit still flies in the stars above us.

Myself, our three daughters - Janet, Joyce, and Suzanne; and our four grandchildren survive Howard.

-His Wife, Barbara