Join as we raise a glass in Honor, and toast the passing of a legend. “Schtick Slammin’ Sam” Hollins broke formation and pitched skyward March 3, 2013. Here’s to the man that blazed through life in full burner, yet never seemed to hit Bingo fuel. “One more!” Here’s to the legacy of a hard-charging passion for life reveled by many, and rivaled by few. When Sammy got on a roll, the best we mortals could do was light the burners and try to keep Lead in sight.
Sam was a natural. F-4s at Osan and Clark. AT-38s at Holloman; Air Force Safety School. F-5s at Nellis, Aggressor Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander of Red Flag. – F-4s/F-15s with the St. Louis Guard, and a 27-year career at Northwest, then Delta Airlines. 747-400 Instructor, 757/767 Captain, Federal Flight Deck Officer.
“Sam was synonymous with camaraderie…. Sam never bragged, and never liked to talk about himself and his considerable talents. Instead he was a cheerleader for all of us. He pushed me to new heights, and motivated me to insane acts of stupidity – for which I will always cherish.” Bill Swiderek
“Sam was a great wingman and the kind of guy you want in your foxhole.” Todd Zejdlik
“God’s speed Sam. Thanks for being a true fighter pilot; loyal to your Air Force, your squadron, and always above all else, loyal to your comrades-in-arms. Especially your fellow fighter pilots. You are one I would have been proud to go to war with. Later, Hop.” Hop Batten
“Stick Slammin’ Sammy – Best stick, best flight lead, best wing man, best friend. Always aggressive, always faithful to the mission. Light on the star when you needed him. Always about you, not him. See you on the other side Señor. God bless your family for their tremendous loss.” Alan Frazier
“Slammin’ – Friend, classmate, fellow aggressor. Your smile and afterburner personality lives on in all of us who knew you. You blessed many a brief, debrief, and O’Club Friday with an unforgettable wit. No need to check six my friend – you had our backs and we had yours, press on! You will be missed but not forgotten.” Bob Thompson
Born May 21, 1952, Chattanooga, Tenn.; moved to Nashville age five. Graduated from Battle Ground Academy High School as Eagle Scout, then off to the Rocky Mountain School for Wayward Boys. Son of the late Lt. Col. Samuel Fox Hollins, Jr. and the late Joyce Birmingham Hollins. Brother to the late Joy E. Hollins. Sam is survived by his wife, Carla Hollins; his son, Sam Jr.; Carla’s children, Kathryn and David; and his sister, Gay Hollins-Wiggins.
September 28, 2012, Sam was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-smoker’s lung cancer. When the first team of doctors did not give him the answers he wanted to hear, he moved on, unwilling to accept their prognosis. He never gave up, never! Throughout his treatment at Vanderbilt-Ingram Center in Nashville, throughout the chemo, throughout it all, Slammin’ continued to fly Lead. Sam held his head high, and set an example for the rest of us to respect and admire. Sam fought an exemplary fight with the grace, dignity, and tenacity worthy of the fighter pilot he was known to be.
Carla Hollins, Lead; Gary “Whit” Whitfield, ’75, Wing | September 2013
Samuel David Hollins, Sr., age 60, of Lake St. Louis, MO died on March 3rd, 2013 at Vanderbilt Hospital after a battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents Samuel Fox and Joyce Birmingham Hollins and his sister Joy "Bittie" Hollins.
Sam was a scholar, athlete, and a gentleman. He graduated from Battle Ground Academy and the United States Air Force Academy. Following his graduation from the Air Force Academy, he attended pilot training to become a fighter pilot and was selected to fly the F-4 at McDill AFB, Tampa, FL. After completing F-4 RTU, Sam was sent to Osan AFB, South Korea. His next assignment was Clark AFB, Philippines. Later, based on his skills as a fighter pilot he was assigned to Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada and flew F-5 with the elite Aggressor Squadron Training Aircrew with dissimilar aircraft in air combat maneuvers. Sam later transitioned to the Missouri Air National Guard and flew the F-4 and F-15 with the 110 TYFS at Lambert Airfield in St. Louis, MO. He retired from the Air Guard with the rank of Major. After his military retirement, Sam became a Captain and Flight Instructor with Northwest Airlines and later Delta Airlines.
Sam was a devoted husband, loving father, and a dear friend to many. He is survived by his wife, Carla Jane Hollins, son Samuel David Hollins, Jr., step daughter Kathryn Leigh Rowley and step son David Samuel Rowley, sister Gay Hollins-Wiggins along with many cousins and relatives in the Middle Tennessee area.
Memorials gifts are requested to be sent to Wounded Warriors or American Cancer Society .
Tributes.com via Baue Funeral Home, St. Charles, Missouri | March 2013
Sam was synonymous with camaraderie. Together, we annihilated the upper classes in foosball, and never without torturing them verbally in the process. We skied like maniacs, and more than once found ourselves side-stepping down rocky cliffs. We always sacrificed form for speed. I remember at the end of one glorious day, Sam and I racing down the hill – all the way to the car (standard operating procedure). Skating on skis, through the parking lot, I edged out Sam who was well ahead of the two ski patrol guys chasing us. All they could do was pull our fully used lift tickets for reckless skiing.
Sam never bragged, and never liked to talk about himself and his considerable talents. Instead, he was a cheerleader for all of us. He pushed me to new heights, and motivated me to insane acts of stupidity – for which I will always cherish.
But when the laughing was over, and the silliness put aside, Sam was rock solid as a friend. He would do anything to help, as long as you didn't make a big deal out of it. I'm surprised that Sam is gone so soon. But, know this. If our goal is to take a big bite out of life, Sam ate the whole bushel of apples – one apple pie at a time.
To Carla, Sam's family, and friends. Enjoy Sam's memories and his legacy and live your lives as fully as Sam did.
– Bill Swiderek
Sam was a good friend and a Great Fighter Pilot. Our careers were almost identical; USAFA, F4Es, F5Es, NWA, Delta. I flew with Sammy. I know how much he loved to fly, and how much fun he was to be around. Sam and I were Squadron-mates at Nellis in the 65th Aggressor Squadron back in the 80s. We were in the same Flight, and therefore flew together on countless TDYs across the country. We were a package deal. I got to know "Slammin", and it was good. He was always upbeat, cheerful, and a glass is half full kind-a-guy. Sam was a great wingman and the kind of guy you want in your foxhole. Sam stayed with me when he first got hired by NWA. Sam was often the life of the party. He was fun to be around. And he will be missed.
– Todd Zejdlik
I met Sam at the US Air Force Academy as we began our last three years in CS-16. Sam’s friendship with me stood out among those from the South. I will always remember his humor, wit, fairness, amiable personality, and positive spirit. I know that he will make this last sortie to heaven with grace and love.
– George Franklin
Slammin'-Friend, classmate, fellow aggressor. Your smile and afterburner personality lives on in all of us who knew you. You blessed many a brief, debrief, and O'Club Fridays with an unforgettable wit. No need to check six my friend – you had our backs and we had yours, press on! You will be missed but not forgotten.
I first met Sam when we were both assigned to CS-16 back at USAFA over 40 years ago. His stated goal was to graduate with a 2.0 (he pretty much did), which I later realized was probably a lot harder than it looked. He was saving himself for the "real Air Force," where he excelled as a fighter pilot and later as an airline captain. At our last reunion in 2010, I recall thinking that of everyone in the squadron, he seemed the one who had changed the least – always wise-cracking and joking, just like way back when. He will never be forgotten...
– Joe Bryant
Sammy, Hope your last flight home was memorable and we look forward to the final rendezvous when our final rejoin is called by our First Pilot. We had a blast flying in Korea and Clark at the best jet playgrounds on Earth. We wish Carla and your family well at this time of memory and celebration of your life. All the best from one of the Best Alive....'75!
– Tom Calhoun