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John Allen Hilger

Date of birth: 1909
Date of death: February 3, 1982
Place of Birth: Texas, Sherman
Home of record: Sherman Texas

John Hilger was one of the 80 airmen who, under the leadership of Jimmy Doolittle, disembarked from the U.S.S. Hornet in the first bombing raid over Tokyo in World War II. He served as Deputy Commander of that raid. Serving as a Pilot again in the Korean War, he earned the Silver Star.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel John Allen Hilger (ASN: 0-20437), United States Air Force, for gallantry in action near Sinuiju, Korea, on 8 November 1950. Serving as Commanding Officer of the 307th Bombardment Group, FIFTH Air Force, Colonel Hilger led an aerial attack against that strategically important enemy stronghold and temporary capitol of North Korea. Due to Sinuiju's extreme importance as a supply and communications center, the enemy was expected to defend it with all resources at his disposal. Because of its location only 666 yards across the Yalu River from Manchurian city of An-Tung, it was considered highly probable that Colonel Hilger's group would be attacked by anti-aircraft fire from both sides of the river and conventional and jet fighter aircraft from the Manchurian side of the international boundary. In order to assure destruction of this vital enemy installation, as well as prevent international consequences which could arise from American aircraft passing over or bombs landing on Manchuria, Colonel Hilger personally led his group. His skillful technique assured maximum destruction of the target area and his courage served as an inspiration to the personnel of the group. The leadership and gallantry displayed by Colonel Hilger on this mission are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, General Orders No. 115 (November 19, 1950)

Action Date: 8-Nov-50

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Regiment: 307th Bombardment Group

Division: 5th Air Force

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel John Allen Hilger (ASN: 1774A/0-20437), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer, 307th Bombardment Group, FIFTH Air Force, in Korea, from 31 July 1950 to 25 September 1950.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, General Orders No. 106 (November 6, 1950)

Action Date: July 31 - September 25, 1950

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Regiment: 307th Bombardment Group

Division: 5th Air Force

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Brigadier General John Allen Hilger (ASN: 1774A/0-20437), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander, Air Force Operational Test Center, Elgin Air Force Base, Florida, from 18 July 1955 to 14 June 1957. During this period, General Hilger had direct responsibility for the conduct of employment and suitability tests, and unit operational employment tests of all weapon systems proposed for use by the United States Air Force. General Hilger's exemplary leadership and dedicated devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: July 18, 1955 - June 14, 1957

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General

Legion of Merit

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Legion of Merit to Brigadier General John Allen Hilger (ASN: 1774A/0-20437), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Air Training Command, from 16 August 1961 to 1 July 1964. During this period, General Hilger displayed exemplary professional leadership by channeling the efforts of the Headquarters Staff toward unexcelled mission accomplishment. He personally directed, or controlled numerous complex projects of national and international significance, attaining the highest degree of success in each instance. After discerning analysis of operating procedures, General Hilger effected many pertinent revisions which resulted in substantial dollar savings and the diversion of manpower and material to the most essential mission elements. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Hilger reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: August 16, 1961 - July 1, 1964

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General

Legion of Merit

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Legion of Merit to Brigadier General John Allen Hilger (ASN: 1774A/0-20437), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as deputy Chief of Staff, Live Oak and Chief, United States Element, Live Oak, from 22 July 1964 to 10 November 1966. In this important assignment, the leadership, exemplary foresight, and ceaseless efforts consistently demonstrated by General Hilger resulted in significant contributions to the effectiveness and success of the Live Oak organization. His personal efforts toward resolution of highly controversial politico/military international issues had a direct and vital bearing on European and national security. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Hilger culminate a long and distinguished career in the service of his country, and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: July 22, 1964 - November 30, 1966

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) John Allen Hilger (ASN: 0-20437), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement as Pilot of a B-25 Bomber of the 1st Special Aviation Project (Doolittle Raider Force), while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on 18 April 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Hilger with 79 other officers and enlisted men volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on himself and the military service.

Action Date: April 18, 1942

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: 1st Special Aviation Project

Division: Doolittle Tokyo Raider Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) John Allen Hilger (ASN: 0-20437), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Korea.

Action Date: Korean War

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel