Capt. Pinckney died May 3, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft that involved two other Airmen. At the time of the accident, the Airmen were assigned to the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. Their home unit is the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Victoria was loved by many and will be remembered forever as a hero and a patriot for her service and sacrifice. She was a beloved daughter, a devoted wife, and a caring mother. Victoria was born on September 28, 1985 in Denver, Colorado. In 2003, Victoria graduated from Palmdale High School in Palmdale, California. She went on to complete a year at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School where she met her future husband, Richard Pinckney. Victoria graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2008 with a B.S. in Systems Engineering, Space Systems. While there, she played on the Women's Rugby Team and was a member of Cadet Squadron 15, the War Eagles. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on May 28, 2008. On May 31, 2008, Victoria married Captain Richard Pinckney in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was a devoted and loving wife and was cherished by her husband. The two both attended pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. There, Victoria flew the T-6 and the T-1 aircraft. On May 28, 2010, she was promoted to First Lieutenant. Shortly after, she received her wings and her assignment to fly the KC-135 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington. In May of 2012 she earned the rank of Captain, and she completed her Master's Degree in Psychology later that year. Victoria shared a smile and a positive attitude with everyone she encountered. She was extremely proud of her military service and was always generous with her time and talents. As a young student, she enjoyed competing in the Academic Pentathlon. Tory enjoyed scrapbooking, snowboarding, and crocheting. She also had a black belt and red stripe in karate. She loved to bake and share her goodies with friends and neighbors. Victoria's son, Gabriel, was the light of her life. She was an attentive and loving mother. Capt. Pinckney is survived by her husband, Richard Pinckney and her son, Gabriel Pinckney, both of Spokane, Washington. She leaves behind parents, Larry and Michelle Castro; two sisters, Nichol and Samantha Castro; grandparents, Lt. Col (Ret) Don and Terry Castro, and Josephine and Emil Grulkowski. She is also survived by mother-in-law, Nina Pinckney and Wally Slate; father-in-law, Richard and Lorraine Pinckney; sisters-in-law, Christine, Stephanie, and Jeanna Pinckney; brothers-in-law, Tyler and Kevin Obrock and Douglas Kozar; and grandparents Anna and Donald Bull, and Virginia Hunt. She also leaves behind many aunts, uncles and cousins. Arrangements entrusted to Hennessey-Smith Funeral Home.
Published in The Gazette on June 2, 2013