B-24"Liberator 98th Bomb Group; Death of HK Avery
I lost my Dad in April and am trying to discover some of the men he served with and learn more about him.
Hamilton King Avery II, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Retired
Died today 10 April 2008 at 4:45 PM. He was 91.
He was the son of the late Hamilton King Avery I of Memphis, TN and Alice Josephine Daigle of New Orleans, LA
A descendant of the Groton Avery Clan and The Daigle sugar plantations of Louisiana.
A graduate of West Point Military Academy 1941, where he earned his letter in track and was a member of the equestrian team and Glee Club. His class was called "Black 41" by Author Bill Yenne who wrote of a class that graduated on the eve of America's entry into WW II; joined the US Army Air Corps which then merged into the USAF in 1947. He trained as a pilot in B-24's and A-26's and flew in Egypt, Libya, Romania, Naples and Normandy. He served in the 98th Bomb Group; which was activated 3 February 1942 at McDill Field, FL with the B-24 "Liberator" Bomber. On 1 Aug 1943, led by Col. John Kane, 165 B-24's took off to bomb the Ploesti Oil Fields 30 miles north of Bucharest. Captain (at the time) Avery was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, for extraordinary heroism that day. At the end of WW II in 1947, he was assigned to the Royal Canadian Air Force Intelligence Ottawa, Canada. Then he was transferred to the Far Eastern Air Forces, Tokyo, Japan in 1953 during the Korean War. In 1957 he was reassigned to the Pentagon, Washington, DC, Intelligence Department where he served until he retired in 1961 He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel 31 July 1961 after 26 years service.
After leaving the military, he became head of the Foreign Language Department at Myrtle Beach High School, 1961-1977 where he taught Spanish and World Geography. Later he received his Masters in Education 1973, from the University of South Carolina.
He was a Mason for 60 years, a member of the Myrtle Beach Masonic Lodge #353 AFM. He was also a 32ND degree Scottish Rite Mason, a York Rite Mason and a member of the Omar Shrine Temple. He was an active member of the West Point Society and the Air Force Association.
He took joy in his wife's cooking and their collies. He was an avid piano player and he and his wife often entertained local musicians and friends in their home. He enjoyed philosophy, science fiction, teaching and his students.
He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years Hilda Mae Gause of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Please help me document his life.
Thank you for your time and any tidbit you could share.