Henry Bernard Hamilton
|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
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
MIA / Declared Dead
19 February 1945
STAD with VMF-121
|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.
Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
|LAST KNOWN RANK
Posthumous promotion to Warrant Officer
|STATUS OF REMAINS
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.
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: