Hillman, Donald Edison, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1962-1962, 15th Air Force
Service Years
1940 - 1962
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Hillman, Donald Edison, Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Seattle, Washington; Selma, Alabama
Last Address
Kirkland, Washington

Date of Passing
Mar 16, 2012
Location of Interment
Tahoma National Cemetery - Kent, Washington
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

Air Force Commander Air Force Retired AAFTTC Instructor

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal

 Military Association Memberships
American Ex-POW AssociationAmerican Fighter Aces Association
  1944, American Ex-POW Association - Assoc. Page
  2016, American Fighter Aces Association

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He shot down 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during WWII. He was shot down by flak Oct 17, 1944 and became a POW.  He twice escaped from German POW camps. The 1st time he was recaptured and transferred to another camp. The 2nd time he was able to make it back to friendly lines. In the 2nd escape he was aided by a disillusioned German officer with whom he later became close friends. On Oct 15, 1952 he piloted a B-47B on the first deep-penetration reconnaissance mission over the USSR.
His Silver Star (1st of 2) citation:

Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Donald E. Hillman (ASN: 0-418131), United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action on 27 September 1944. Lieutenant Colonel Hillman distinguished himself by outstanding bravery and aerial proficiency while leading his squadron in aerial combat with a superior number of enemy aircraft over Germany. At great risk to his own personal safety he attacked alone and unescorted a flight of eight hostile planes; by his skillful maneuvering and intense fighting spirit he succeeded in destroying two of their number and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Lieutenant Colonel Hillman's unswerving courage and self-sacrificing regard for the safety of his fellow pilots are exemplary of the finest traditions of the Army Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 9th Air Force, General Orders No. 289 (December 10, 1944)

Action Date: 27-Sep-44

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Regiment: 365th Fighter Group

Division: 9th Air Force

Other Comments:
hellhawks.org/stories-Hillman.html (great stories)
Escape story:
USSR overflight:


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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight SchoolUS Air Force365th Fighter GroupPOW Germany
42nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy92nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy6th Strategic Aerospace Wing15th Air Force
  1940-1941, AAF MOS 770, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1065, 386th Fighter Squadron
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 365th Fighter Group
  1944-1945, POW Germany
  1956-1958, 21, 42nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
  1958-1959, 21, 92nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
  1960-1962, 21, 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing
  1962-1962, 15th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Normandy Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
University of WashingtonVirginia Military InstituteStanford University
  1935-1936, University of Washington
  1936-1937, Virginia Military Institute
  1937-1939, Stanford University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  F-80/P-80 Shooting Star  B-29 Superfortress  B-50 Superfortress  
B-47 Stratojet  KC-97 Stratotanker  B-36 Peacemaker  B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)  
KC-135 Stratotanker  
  1943-1944, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)1
  1946-1949, F-80/P-80 Shooting Star
  1950-1951, B-29 Superfortress
  1951-1951, B-50 Superfortress
  1951-1953, B-47 Stratojet
  1951-1957, KC-97 Stratotanker
  1956-1956, B-36 Peacemaker
  1956-1959, B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)
  1958-1959, KC-135 Stratotanker
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