Richard T. Lynch, 87

Decorated war pilot

January 19, 2008|By Jacques Kelly

Col. Richard T. Lynch, a decorated World War II fighter pilot who had subsequent careers in the Maryland Air National Guard and the Association of Maryland Pilots, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 8 in his Chester home. He was 87.

Born in Baltimore and raised on St. George's Road in Roland Park, he was a 1938 graduate of Mount St. Joseph's High School and earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Virginia.

In 1942, he became an Army Air Corps cadet pilot and later flew 25 missions during 110 combat hours over Germany. A B-26 flight leader, he was awarded, among many decorations, the Air Medal with an oak-leaf cluster and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service Stars.

After the war, he remained in military service in the Maryland Air National Guard and became unit commander and commander of the old Harbor Field in Dundalk and later at Martin Airport. At his retirement from the Guard, he was a colonel in the 135th Tactical Air Support Group. He was a recipient of the Maryland Distinguished Service Cross.

Mr. Lynch was an employee of the Association of Maryland Pilots for nearly 25 years. He was captain of the pilot boat Pilot Express, which he operated from Annapolis City Dock, ferrying bay pilots to their assignments around the clock.

"He was an expert pilot in the air or on the water," said his daughter, Louise "Wiezie" Lynch of Arnold. "He had a love of the Chesapeake Bay."

He outlived two wives, the former Mary McGlannan and the former Pamela Knowlson.

A Mass was offered.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, Richard T. Lynch III of Glen Burnie; two other daughters, Laura M. Lynch of Kimberton, Pa., and Carol L. Stob of Round Bay; a sister, Kathryn L. Hilgartner of Timonium; and a granddaughter.

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