From D-Day to Korea

 

The Career of Lt. Col. Dave Hamilton  

 

 

Presented by Lt. Col. Dave Hamilton USAF (ret) 
March Field Air Museum Library – Wednesday, February 20th - 7 pm 

Admission and Parking Free

                                                         

Lt. Col. Dave Hamilton enlisted in the United States Army Air Force on December 8th, 1941 the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Completing flight training, he became a 
C-47 pilot with the 9th Air Force, 436th Troop Carrier Group, Bottesford Air Base, England. 

Assigned to a Pathfinder Unit he dropped paratroopers on June 6, 1944 over Normandy during the D-Day invasion. Later, in August 1944, he dropped paratroops during Operation Dragoon in Southern France and flew five drop missions over Holland during Operation Market Garden in September that same year. On December 23, 1944, Lt. Col. Hamilton led the supply drop to the embattled 101st Airborne troopers encircled at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.   

 

By the end of the Second World War Lt. Col Hamilton had received four Air Medals, nine Battle Stars on his European Theater of Operations campaign ribbon, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, the Order of William from Holland, and the French Legion of Honor Medal. Lt Col. Hamilton also earned jump wings from 82nd Airborne. 

 

Recalled to active duty in 1950 with Military Air Transport Service, Col Hamilton became an Operations Officer where he helped to develop procedures for evacuation of wounded from Korea. In 1952, he attended flight school at Langley for the RB-26 Invaders. Afterwards he went to Korea with 37th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force to fly the Invader in combat. Flying 51 missions, (including missions on the museum’s  A-26 “Sweet Miss Lillian”) Lt. Col. Hamilton received the Distinguished Flying Cross and five more Air Medals, and two more Presidential Unit Citations.

 

Following the Korean War Lt. Col. Hamilton flew Jet Fighters and was involved in the development of the sidewinder missile. In1961 with the Defense Intelligence Agency at Dover AFB, he analyzed high altitude photos taken by U2s during Cuban Missile crisis. Lt. Col Hamilton retired from the USAF in 1963                                                  

                                                                                

 

The Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable is sponsored by the March Field Air Museum, and is dedicated to the local aviation and aerospace community. Monthly meetings are open to the public, with subjects of interest to the air-minded public presented including aviation and aerospace history, both civil and military, as well as new developments in these fields. Parking and admission are free for this event.

 

The March Field Air Museum is located in Riverside, California, at 22550 Van Buren Blvd. (at the intersection of Van Buren Blvd. and the 215 Freeway) adjacent to March Air Reserve Base

 

More Information: (951) 902-5949 or visit www.marchfield.org

 


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