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First Name: David

Last Name: Hill

Birthplace: KOR

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Home of Record: San Antonio, TX
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 13 July 1915

Date of Death: 11 October 2007

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served: 1931 - 1968
David Lee Hill

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


David Lee Hill
Lieutenant, U.S. Army

David Lee Hill, the son of Presbyterian missionaries, was born in Kwangju, Korea. Hill entered Navy flight training in 1938 and obtained his Naval Wings as an Ensign. In 1941, he resigned his Naval commission to join the AVG "Flying Tigers" under Claire Chennault in China, where he became an ACE with 12.75 aerial victories. When the AVG was disbanded on 4 July 1942, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

On 25 October 1942, then-Major David Lee Hill was serving as Pilot of a P-40 Warhawk Fighter airplane and Commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, Tenth Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces.

On that day, MAJ Hill’s unit was in action against Japanese forces while performing bomber escort duty over enemy-held territory in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. Seeing superior numbers of Japanese fighter aircraft climbing to intercept U.S. B-24 Liberator bombers, MAJ Hill turned his P-40 Warhawk on its back for a high-speed dive and then placed his aircraft between the enemy fighters and the B-24 bombers. With his exceptional flying skill, MAJ Hill forced the Japanese aircraft to turn away from the attack and dive. His superb marksmanship allowed him to destroy one plane and severely damage 3 others, resulting in their probable destruction. MAJ Hill's spirited leadership in carrying the attack to the enemy, without thought of the odds against him, was an inspiration to all the fighter pilots. MAJ Hill’s courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Hill ended World War II as a USAAF ACE credited with 6 aerial victories. Combined with his 12.75 victories with the AVG Flying Tigers, he had a total score of 18.75 enemy aircraft destroyed in aerial victories during World War II, earning him the title Triple ACE.

After the war, he served in the Texas National Guard and retired in 1968 as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Army Air Force Command Pilot Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Air Corps) David Lee "Tex" Hill (ASN: 0-889015), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-40 Fighter Airplane in the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, TENTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on October 25, 1942, while performing bomber escort duty over enemy-held territory in the China Theater. On this date, Major Hill attacked, without hesitation, superior numbers of enemy aircraft that were rising to intercept United States B-24 bombers. Without hesitation, he turned his aircraft on its back for a high-speed dive and placed his aircraft between enemy fighters and the B-24 bombers. With exceptional flying ability, Major Hill forced enemy aircraft to turn from the attack and dive away. With skillful marksmanship, he destroyed one aircraft and severely damaged three others resulting in their probable destruction. Major Hill's leadership, spirit, and extraordinary heroism in action against enemy forces in carrying the attack to the enemy without thought of the odds against himself were an inspiration to all fighter pilots. By his intrepid direction, heroic leadership, and superior professional ability, Major Hill set an inspiring example to his fellow aviators. Major Hill's extraordinary heroism and zealous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders 9 (November 18, 2005)

Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal, created by the U.S. Mint, is the highest civilian honor Congress can give on behalf of the American people. On 20 May 2015, leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate presented the Congressional Gold Medal [see photo] to the American Fighter Aces Association at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Emancipation Hall.

More than 60,000 American fighter pilots engaged in aerial combat during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Of those pilots, only 1,447 earned the title of fighter “Ace” by downing at least five enemy aircraft. Brigadier General David Lee Hill was one of them, having been credited with 12.75 aircraft shot down in aerial combat earning him the title TRIPLE ACE. At the time of the presentation of the Medal, only 75 of those Aces remained alive.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General David Lee Hill died on 11 October 2007 in Terrell Hills, TX. He is buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Bexar County. TX, in Section 48, Site 190.


Honoree ID: 313943   Created by: MHOH




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