As a young officer, “Paddy” Hine had to choose between two loves, flying or golf. Hine was born near Southampton, England, in 1932 and educated at Peter Symonds School in Winchester. As a youth, he excelled in golf and in 1948 became a member of the English Schoolboy Golf International team. At age 17, he won the Brabazon Trophy. The next year he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a pilot trainee. Receiving his wings, Hine went to No. 1 Squadron to fly the Gloster Meteor fighter. During 1956 and 1957, he instructed at the Central Flying School at RAF Little Rissington.
Later he flew the Hawker Hunter as a member of No. 111 Squadron, and from 1957 to 1959 performed on the “Black Arrows,” the RAF’s aerobatics display team. The next year, Hine was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for valuable services in the air. In 1962, he became Officer Commanding, No. 92 Squadron, as it converted to the English Electric Lightning. Hine flew all-weather air defence before attending the RAF Staff College in 1965. Next, he served in Ministry of Defence (MoD), and in 1968 became Project Officer for the McDonnell Phantom II in the Operational Requirements Branch. In 1970, Hine reformed No. 17 Squadron at RAF Brüggen in Germany and flew the Phantom.
After study at RAF Air Warfare College, he served 18 months on Headquarters Strike Command staff and then returned to the continent. He was Station Commander at RAF Wildenrath and also commanded RAF Harrier Force in Germany. During 1975-1977 he served as the RAF’s Director of Public Relations and then attended the Royal College of Defence in 1978. Hine was Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ RAF Germany in 1979 and, promoted to air vice-marshal, then returned to MoD as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy). An Air Marshal in 1983, he took command of NATO’s Second Allied Tactical Air Force and was RAF Commander-in-Chief in Germany.
That year, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath (KCB) by Queen Elizabeth. Hine served as Vice Chief of Defense Staff between 1985-1987, then in 1988 took command of RAF Strike Command. In 1989, he was honored as Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath (GCB). He was Joint Commander of all British forces during the Gulf War and in 1991 was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE). Leaving the RAF in 1991, Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine became Military Advisor to British Aerospace until his retirement in April 1999. He and his wife, Lady Jill Hine, have three sons, including one who is a RAF fighter pilot. Sir Patrick still has a love of golf and over the years has represented England and the RAF in many tournaments.