In the summer of 1983, Captain William Howard Hughes, Jr. of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) was on an assignment to undertake joint work with European colleagues. After he’d finished the project, he took a two-week vacation. His peers in the U.S. expected him back at work on August 1. But he just didn’t show up.
Details about Hughes’ childhood and family background are sketchy, but we know he was 31 in 1983 so he must have been born in 1951 or 1952. Hughes joined the USAF in 1973 when he would have been in his early twenties.
He was based in Alabama and then gained more qualifications at the Air Force Institute of Technology. The institute is graduate school based near Dayton, Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Students at the school, which was established in 1919, can study everything from management to engineering.