redHenry “Red” Hinkley attended Salem High School and graduated in the spring of 1940. He was an outstanding athlete that competed in football, basketball, and track. He was very fast and made a fine running back during his time for the Wildcats.

In 1941, Henry enrolled in school at Southern Illinois National University (SIND) which is now known as SIU. He was an honor student, a sophomore repre5entative to the student council and a three sport letterman in football, basketball, and track.

Henry stayed in school until March of 1943 when he was drafted into the army to fight in World War II. Following his basic training in the U.S., he was sent to Australia and later assigned to fight in the battle of Biak with the U.S. Anny, 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41 II Division. Biak is an island, near New Guinea, that was sought after for its strategic location for the airbase which could refuel aircraft used in various missions. Henry was killed by machine gunfire, along with 435 other American soldiers, on June 7, 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was laid to rest at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.

In 1946 members of the NU Epsilon Alpha fraternity at Southern Illinois University decided to honor and perpetuate Henry’s memory by recognizing “The Most Outstanding Student Athlete of the Year” by presenting him with the Henry Hinkley Award. This award started in 1946 and continued until the early 1980’s