P-40 Warhawk Ace: 'Tex' Hill
"Tex" Hill was born in Gwangju, Korea whilst under Japanese rule but was raised in Texas. Graduating from Austin College in 1938, he entered service as a United States Naval Aviator, earning his wings as a TBD Devastator torpedo bomber pilot aboard the USS Saratoga. He also joined a Vought SB2U Vindicator Dive Bomber Squadron aboard USS Ranger. IN 1941 he was recruited to the 1st American Volunteer Group, training on the P-40 Warhawk in Burma.
Hill made his first kills on January 3rd 1942, shooting down two Japanese Nates over Thailand. 2 more followed on the 23rd and he became an ace the next day with two more kills. He thus became a squadron leader in March of that year, and by the time of the squadron's disbanding in the summer, he was a double ace, with 12 1/4 aerial victories on his record.
Hill was one of only 5 of the "Flying Tigers" to join the successor group, the 23rd Fighter Group, having a rank of major at this time, earning 5 more victories in the cockpit of a P-51. He returned home in 1944 and took command of the 412th Fighter Group, the first operational American jet fighter group (flying the P-59 Airacomet and P-80 Shooting Star). He went on to serve in the Korean War with the Texas Air National Guard. He retired as a brigadier general, has earned a plethora of merits and medals throughout his career.