Huntington, WV Black History

William Hill

Tuskegee Airman

William L. “Douby” Hill was an American military aviator who served during World War II as a Tuskegee Airman.

Hill attended Douglass High School and after graduating joined the Army starting his training as a U.S. Army Air Corps Cadet and graduating on December 5, 1943. He received his wings and was sent to Tuskegee. He held the rank of Flight Officer and was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group. He held the position of Pilot P51 Mustang Tuskegee Airman.

His planes were shot down twice, and he suffered severe burns to his body and face. He was credited for shooting down an enemy Messerschmitt Bf 109 on August 23, 1944. He was escorting B-24 Liberator Bombers to Markers Dorf, Germany, when his escort mission encountered 14 Bf 109s. One of the B-24 bombers was also shot down on that mission.

Hill continued in active service after the war and in 1947, he was trained as a meteorologist and served two additional tours overseas. He achieved the rank of Major and retired in 1964 from the Grand Forks Air Force Base. As a Tuskegee Airmen, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the country. He also received three Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

 

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