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Minton, Joseph P. (Joseph Paul), 1924-2016



  • Existence: October 20, 1924 - April 29, 2016

Biographical Information

Joseph Paul Minton was born on October 20, 1924 in Houston, Texas to Joseph Marian and Stella (Fite) Minton. Aviation fascinated Minton at an early age, and he took his first solo flight at 16 and won his wings at 19. Minton saw WWII as an opportunity to fly, and he signed up to serve his country after high school. He was accepted for flight training in the United States Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Training Program and graduated with honors in Class 44B.

During World War II, he flew 432 missions in the China-Burma-India theatre. Minton was with the Military Air Transport Service in the United States Air Force for seven years and in the Strategic Air Force bomber operations five years. He was also at the Pentagon four years.

After the war, he enrolled in Purdue University's Air Transportation Program, while continuing to serve in the Reserves. While at Purdue Minton served as a flight instructor in P-51 and A-26 aircraft for the Indiana National Guard and as an instructor for Purdue University's flight programs. All of the added experience he gained at Purdue helped him to return to active duty in the United States Army Air Forces, at a time when all military programs were being reduced. He went on to spend a total of twenty years in the USAF, always in flight status. He was a B-47 command pilot with the 380th Bombardment Wing, and earned rapid promotion from Major to full Colonel within three years, finally serving as a staff officer at the Pentagon, while still flying.

In 1967 Minton received an offer to become President of Purdue Airlines, and at 44, Colonel Minton started a second career, managing an airline. He also later served as an airline executive for a Singapore national carrier and for British Caledonia. He wrapped up his career as Executive Director of Aviation for the National Safety Council. In retirement he was active in Habitat for HuUmanity and many other charitable organizations.

Joseph Paul Minton passed away in Reston, Virginia on April 29, 2016.


Joseph Paul Minton obituary, Adams-Green Funeral Home and Crematory, Herndon, VA, 29 April 2016, online archives


Purdue Airlines formerly Purdue Aeronautics Corporation, Air Charter Service brochure, circa 1968. Accessed July 29, 2011.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Purdue University Department of Aviation Technology records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 12
Scope and Contents The Purdue University Department of Aviation Technology records document the historical background of the department, the Purdue University Airport, and key moments in the history of aviation in Tippecanoe County. Scrapbooks compiled by the department provide a rich collection of photographs and news clippings which highlight key historical moments, individuals, additions of labs and simulators, and aircraft at the Purdue University Airport. Publications among the...
Dates: 1928 - 2010; Other: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1999

Joseph P. Minton collection of Purdue Aeronautics Corporation and Purdue Airlines Inc. historical material

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSA 257
Scope and Contents The Joseph P. Minton collection of Purdue Aeronautics Corporation and Purdue Airlines Inc. historical material documents Joseph P. Minton's tenure as president of Purdue University Airlines, Incorporated, 1969 - 1971. Included among the material are photographs, newspaper clippings, info on Hugh Hefner's plane, "The Big Bunny," housed and maintained at the Purdue Airport, brochures, annual reports, stationery, performance reports, articles concerning Purdue Airlines, working papers and...
Dates: 1960 - 2010; Majority of material found within 1969 - 1971