Weldon Crowe Bingham, a 31-year Ventura resident and retired airline pilot, has died after a brief illness. Bingham, who died Wednesday, was 75.
He was born Sept. 5, 1920, in Austin, Texas, and served as a captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying B-17 bombers with the 305th Bomb Group over Europe.
After the war, he worked as a flight instructor at Van Nuys Airport. Bingham joined American Airlines in 1950 and flew as a pilot with the company for 30 years.
"Flying was his life," said his daughter, Debra Bliss of Ventura. "He had met Howard Hughes when he was instructing. Several times they would have a cup of coffee at the airport."
Bingham was a member of the Military Order of World Wars and two groups for retired American Airlines employees.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary P. Bingham of Ventura; a son, William D. Bingham of Ventura; a daughter and son-in-law, Debra and James Bliss of Ventura; and three granddaughters.
A memorial gathering will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at his home at 190 Hillway Circle. After cremation, a private family interment will be held at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura.
Memorial donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 167 Lambert St., Oxnard, 93030.
Ted Mayr Funeral Home in Ventura is in charge of arrangements.