Last Known Activity
Richard Earl Hunter was born on January 8, 1920 in Plessis, New York. He was the son of Earl Alvaro and Lora Verde Wilson Hunter. He attended and graduated from Alexandria Bay High School with the class of 1937. He then attended Ithaca College from 1939 to 1942.
On Jun 18, 1942, he was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program. He took primary training at Arcadia, Florida and basic flight training at Greenville, Mississippi. He graduated on December 13, 1942, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He was also awarded pilot wings at Napier Field, Alabama.
He was assigned for further training at Cross City, Florida, and on to duties at Montgomery, Alabama. In February 1943, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 15th Air Force, located in bases throughout North Africa.
Hunter flew the Spitfire "D" and then the P-39 in escort missions and fighter sweeps. He was part of a flight that went out on July 13, 1943, but he never returned to base. No one could account for what happened - his aircraft just disappeared somewhere over the Mediterranean Sea. He was declared Missing in Action until war's end when he was declared Dead. No remains were ever recovered, and his disappearance is still a mystery.
There, is, however, a memorial marker in the family cemetery in New York.
www. freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/...Richard Earl Hunter. html
Watertown Daily Times, July 13, 1943
Thousand Island Sun newspaper July 1943, reprinted 7/22/83
Lt. Hunter was assigned to fly the Spitfire "D" when first assigned to North Africa. However, all Spitfires were replaced by P-39s. On his final flight, he was piloting P-39 #42-9678, assigned to the 346th Fighter Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 13 covers this loss.