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Interview with William H. Hamilton, an attorney and Army Air Forces veteran (63rd Bomb Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group, 5th Air Force; 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force), concerning his experiences in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Pre-war education, particularly at Culver Military Academy; his decision to enter the Aviation Cadet Program, 1943; basic training, Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas, 1943; assignment to the 67th College Training Detachment, Ouachita Baptist College, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, 1943; assignment to the Aviation Cadet Classification and Preflight Center, San Antonio, Texas, 1943; pre-flight training, Aviation Cadet Center, San Antonio, 1943; primary flight training, Corsicana, Texas, 1943-44; basic flight training, Majors Field, Greenville, Texas, 1944; advanced flight training, Ellington Field, Houston, Texas, 1944; assignment to the combat replacement and training center, Nadzab, New Guinea, 1944; voluntary assignment to the 63rd Bomb Squadron, Tacloban, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 1944; his accounts of various "snooper" night missions in B-24s to interdict Japanese shipping and supply facilities along the China coast, 1944-45; transfer of the squadron to Clark Field, Manila, Luzon, 1945; his memorable mission to Ulin Harbor, Hainan Island, March 31, 1945; his transfer to the 49th Fighter Group and transition to the P-38 Lightning; P-38 training at Nadzab; assignment to the 7th Fighter Squadron and ground-support missions on Luzon; preparations for the invasion of Japan; transfer to Okinawa, August, 1945; his eye-witness description of Hiroshima after the dropping of the atomic bomb; surveillance missions over Japan after the surrender; lasting effects of his experiences in World War II.
Interview conducted in 1999 for the World War II Pacific Theater (Island Hopping) Oral History Project. Interviewer: Ronald E. Marcello, Professor of History, University of North Texas.