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EZRA M. HILL, USAF, (Ret)
Original Tuskegee Airman


MSgt Ezra M Hill was born in Newport News, VA in 1930. He moved to Washington, DC as a child and lived there until the age of seventeen. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Ft Meade,MD in July 1947. He completed basic training at lackland AFB, TX and in October 1947 was assigned to Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, OH. His primary duty was in crash and rescue, however, because of other talents which were discovered early on, he spent most of his time in "Special Services Activities".

One key event took place while he was working in crash and rescue that he will never forget. During one aircraft incident, he heroically helped remove, then Col B. O. Davis, Jr, from his damaged plane upon landing at locbourne Air Force Base. This unselfish act, among others, sealed their relationship for life. (Col Davis was the leader of the famed Tuskegee Airmen who became the first black three-star general and later received his fourth star in retirement).

MSgt Hill was reassigned to Andrews AFB, MD in late 1949 where he played "base-level" basketball, (the first black and first enlisted man to play at this level). He was selected to play on the Air Force Basketball Team which played in worldwide competition. He also was an entertainer. He was selected to perform with the "Operation Happiness". (They were the forerunners of today's "Tops in Blue"). He was then assigned to Tokyo International Airport, Japan, for the next three years for duty in crash and rescue, but still devoting most of his time to "Special Services Activities".

In 1956, he was relocated to McGuire AFB, NJ and retrained into the electronics field as a weapons systems technician. He spent the greater portion of 1958 and 1959 in technical schools at Lowry AFB, CO and Hughes Aircraft Plants, taki~ advanced courses on weapons systems. He was subsequently assigned to Langley AFB, VA where he worked as a weapons systems technician in the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from 1960 to 1965. He went from there to McGuire, AFB, NJ and worked as an Electronics Operational Readiness Inspector until his retirement as a MSgt in 1967.

After retirement, he taught in the Newport News School System for approximately one year and worked with the Navy at NAS, Norfolk, VA for 18 years, as a Computer Technician Supervisor, before retiring for the second time.

His educational achievements include many military courses, a certificate in Computer Science from Trenton Junior College, Trenton, NJ and a BS Degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio Saint Matthew University in Columbus, OH.

He married the former Mabel Haltwanger in 1953 and from this union they have 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.