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"Tex" Hill of World War Two Flying Tigers dies!

Kev in Deva

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David Lee "Tex" Hill ® stands with Nadezhda Popova.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20071012/twl...-672dc0e_1.html Reuters - 2 hours 5 minutes ago

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - David Lee "Tex" Hill, who flew with the Flying Tigers in China during World War Two and was said to be the inspiration for John Wayne's character in a 1942 movie about the squadron, died at his San Antonio home on Thursday at the age of 92, his family said.

He was a Naval aviator who in 1941 joined what was officially known as the American Volunteer Group, a mercenary squad recruited to help defend China against Japan.

The Flying Tigers had a fearsome shark's mouth painted on the front of their single-engine fighter planes and gained much publicity for their success against the Japanese early in the war, when good news about the Allied forces was rare.

The squadron, which was led by Gen. Claire Chennault, became part of the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.

Hill was credited with downing 18 enemy planes, making him one of the top combat aces of the Pacific theatre.

Wayne made "Flying Tigers" in 1942, but did not meet Hill until several years after the war. He told Hill he based his movie character on him, and they became lifelong friends.

Hill was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and other decorations from the U.S., Chinese and British governments for his war service.

The son of missionaries, Hill was born in Korea in 1915 and moved to Texas in 1921 when his father was appointed pastor at a San Antonio church.


May He Rest In Peace.

Kevin in Deva, :beer:

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Very sad to hear about that - my grandfather who was in the CBI who died last year knew Tex very well and they corresponded regularly. In storage I have an autographed book from him with a very special dedication. As I recal it was something alongthe lines of 'Your grandfather was telling me how interested you have beocme in what we did over there, here is my story' (I was about 12 at the time.) I wrote him a letter back and he sent a reply thanking me for my interest. It was sotries like his that got me into this stuff.

You lived a full life Tex - thanks for everything!

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  • 1 year later...

Hey Guys,

Our local group, the Michigan Company of Military Historians & Collectors was fortunate enough to have Tex speak at our annual 'Open Mess' here in Grand Rapids back in November, 2003 (check out our webpage). Tex truly was an American hero as were all the AVG 'Tigers'. As Commandant that year I had the privilege of sitting next to Col. Hill at dinner. He really had some great tales to tell.

Blue skies Tex!

Jay Stone

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