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WWII Pathfinder David Hamilton

04 September 2009  
Hear from Lt. Col. David Hamilton, as he shares his WWII experiences in dropping pathfinder troops behind enemy lines in Europe.

hamiltonWednesday, Sept 9, at 7 PM on the Prescott Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus, David Hamilton, Lt. Col., USAF, Ret., presents "Sie Kommen" featuring his World War II missions to drop pathfinder troops behind enemy lines in Europe including D-Day operations. Hamilton, who lived in Europe as a lad and throughout the U. S. as an adult, selected Prescott Valley as home for his retirement years.

David Hamilton was born in Watford, England, where his father worked for an international bank. Hamilton spent his early years in Paris, before returning to New York City at age 6 years.

In March of 1942, Hamilton enlisted in the USAAF leading to his being commissioned as a pilot, Class 43-C, in Waco, TX. He was assigned to 9th Troop Carrier Command, 2nd Pathfinder Squadron and flew pathfinder units to drop zones in Europe.

After the war, civilian Hamilton flew C-47s and C-54s with Transair, a non-scheduled airline from Newark to Miami and Havana, Cuba. He then flew Constellations with American Overseas, which was eventually bought out by Pan Am. Finding himself with a very low seniority number with Pan Am, he left flying and went into the advertising business.

David Hamilton returned to the USAF in 1950 and flew with Military Air Transport System. He served in Korea from June 1950 to November 1952, flying 50 missions and then was the Operations Officer of Air Evacuation at Bolling AFB in Washington D.C. In 1953 Hamilton transferred from active duty to the reserves with Eastern Air Defense Command. He retired from military service in 1964.

In civilian life as an executive with Heublein, a food and liquor distributor, David Hamilton lived in various places including Delaware, Maryland, and Oregon before settling in California. Prescott Valley, Arizona, has been home in his retirement years since 1994. In light of his volunteer service; however, it is obviously an active retirement.

Hamilton is very busy as president of the 9th Troop Carrier Command Pathfinder Group Association and locally as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Post 10227, 82nd Airborne Division Association, Northern Arizona All Airborne Chapter, and Military Pilots of Prescott, as well as other national organizations.

Everyone is invited to meet David Hamilton and learn more about the successes and failures of his Pathfinder missions at his American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) presentation of “Sie Kommen” at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. To learn more about AAHS’s free, public programs, please call professor Nick Manderfield at 928-777-6985.

Also, click here for more information that can be printed and distributed: David Hamilton Fact Sheet


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Lynne LaMaster