Trans World Airlines Captain Howard T. Chittenden passed away in the early morning of Wednesday, May 11, 2016, receiving at that time his most treasured set of wings.
Capt. Chittenden was a native of Paducah, KY, born November 12, 1923, to the late W.B. 'Barney' and Lora Morefield Chittenden. He was of the Methodist faith.
Upon graduation from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army Airforce. After extensive training, Flight Officer Chittenden, flew 23 missions over Germany with the 364th Bomb Squad/305th Bomb group, known as the Flak Eaters.
As a 1st Lt. he piloted B-17 aircraft and commanded crew in aerial offensive operations against the enemy. Completing 28 combat missions in the European Theater with the 8th Airforce. Receiving the Air Medal for Meritorious achievement, while participating in sustained bomber combat operations over Germany and German occupied countries, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and 3 Bronze Stars. He was also awarded the American Theater Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal and the Victory Medal.
After being honorably discharged from the service, Capt. Chittenden returned to the states and resided in Los Angeles. He became a captain for TWA, flying internationally until his retirement in 1983. This career afforded him the opportunity to travel the world, seeing the lights of the cities from the vantage point of the air and the cafes on the street. He often related stories, to rapt audience, about his travels, his flight crews, and a time when the flying experience was new and exciting to most passengers.
A few years after retiring, Howard returned to Paducah, renewing relationships with family and friends. Howard would often join his brother Russ, and the "Good Ole Boys" B BQ Team at events, occasionally earning his keep by throwing a log on the smoker.
Having always been a fitness enthusiast, he continued to run in marathons and compete in cycling races, most times defeating younger competitors.
In 2001, at age 78, he and four friends started the 14,495-ft. climb of California's Mt. Whitney, making the ascent and descent the same day, in 16 hours.
As the cycling ebbed and the running turned to walking, 'Chit' still made trips to reunite with his buddies from the 305th and to communicate with his crews from TWA, where stories of past times were enhanced and friendships were celebrated.
Howard is survived by his brother, Russell Morefield Chittenden of Paducah; nieces, Alicia Chittenden of Carlsbad, CA and Sallee Campbell of Paducah, KY; great nephews, Heston Campbell and wife Kristy of Paducah, KY and Hunter Campbell and wife Hannah of Louisville, KY; great great nieces, Caitlin, Lindsay and Aubrey Campbell and Katelynn and Haley Harris of Paducah, KY; great great nephew, Russell Campbell of Louisville, KY.
In his lifetime Howard met many people and made lifelong friends around the world. He was a congenial fellow with an infectious laugh and a giving nature. By family and friends he will be truly missed.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Captain Howard Chittenden was 92 years old.
Graveside services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 20, 2016 at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with Rev. Jason Logsdon officiating.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to: Russ Chittenden/Good Ole Boys Scholarship Fund, c/o WKCTC, PO Box 7380, Paducah, KY 42002.
Friday, May 20th, 2016 2:00pm, Milnor & Orr
Woodlawn Memorial Gardens