Another inspiring Seattle-area WWII veteran has passed away today at 93 years of age.
Former U.S. Army P-47 pilot and POW Donald E. Hillman was by all accounts an incredible individual with an equally incredible story. The Seattle Times reports that Hillman, an ace pilot, flew 145 missions during a 10-month span before bailing from his burning airplane 12,000 feet over Nazi Germany. He was then captured and twice imprisoned—twice escaping—Nazi POW camps. The story of his unlikely friendship with one of his German interrogators and their successful escape together to Allied lines is just brilliant:
Hank’s thoughts: If you’ve not read Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken about Louis Zamperini’s life, do it. If you’ve never seen the 1963 movie “The Great Escape”, do so. And if you’ve not yet been to our Museum of Flight, go!
These are all things you can do on a rainy day. We’re sure to have more.
Godspeed, Mr. Hillman, and thank you.