Henry B. Hamilton

NAME
Henry Bernard Hamilton
NICKNAME
Tex
MCSN
O-12186
HOME OF RECORD
1915 McKee Street, San Diego, CA
(born Bremond, TX)
NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Dorothy Freeman Hamilton
DATE OF BIRTH
May 29, 1908
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
March 12, 1929
DATE OF LOSS
October 21, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
MIA / Declared Dead
19 February 1945
UNIT
VMF-212
STAD with VMF-121
DUTY
Pilot
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Marine Gunner Henry “Tex” Hamilton, a veteran fighter pilot, was assigned to combat duty with the Cactus Air Force in 1942. While on temporary aviation duty with VMF-223 and VMF-212, he scored seven aerial victories against the Japanese, earning the Navy Cross, a commission, and status as an ace.

At 1245 on 21 October 1942, nineteen American fighters engaged a raiding force of Zeros bombers over Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. “Tex” Hamilton piloted his Wildcat (F4F-4 Bureau Number 5045) into the fight, but reportedly fell victim to a Zero ace. He was seen drifting in his parachute, limp and unresponsive, and disappeared from sight.*

Hamilton was declared dead on 19 February 1945.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Marine Gunner
Posthumous promotion to Warrant Officer
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

* Note: John Lundstrom attributes Hamilton’s fate to PO1c Ōta Toshio of the Tainan air group – one of Japan’s leading aces of the war. Ōta was shot down in turn by 1Lt. Frank Drury of VMF-212.

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

Five fellows from 212 were tangled with eight Zeros in a fierce dogfight but came out well…. Tex Hamilton didn’t come back. [Lieutenant Frank] Drury told of seeing a flyer in a yellow life jacket descending in a chute. Japs use white life jackets. Drury flew around the falling man, who hung limp in his chute. We never heard anything more of him. Tex was a handy veteran who had been flying since 1936 and made more money than the young lieutenants, in spite of his rank.
– Captain Joe Foss, VMF-121, in Joe Foss, Flying Marine: The Story Of His Flying Circus As Told To Walter Simmons, 1943

Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:
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