CPL Victor Winston Hamilton
420th AAF 320th Wing, T/SQD
Killed 11 May, 1945, Mendocino, CA
-- Granddaughter Trisha Hamilton-Leo --
My grandfather was Cpl Victor Winston Hamilton. He was born on July 18, 1919 in Newark, New Jersey.
He entered the Army in 1941 as a medic but quickly changed to the pilot school. He had always dreamed of flying
and was looking forward to it. In Feb 1945 he was transferred to March Field, Riverside, California to finish school
and await his overseas orders. On the day of May 12,1945 he and a crew of 11 took off in a B24-M Bomber that had just
been equipped with first "New" radar in their plane. They were flying a round robin from the base to Oregon along the
West coast. The flight went smoothly until the return trip. The plane was reported missing and a land , sea, air search
was launched. On May 19,1945, 8 days after being reported as missing the plane was found in Mendocino, California deep in
When the plane crashed there was a flash fire from the bomber bay. There were no survivors. While on base in March Field,
Riverside, California, he decided to make a recording of his voice to send to his wife and son. This was in 1944 when
recording your voice was new and cost 25 cents. He also wrote his family every week from 1941-1945 describing his military
training and the people he met.
His mother kept every letter in its original envelope. In the past few years I have gotten the letters and tape passed to me
along with the flag from his casket that contained 48 stars. The day after he was killed he was to have flown on a bombing
raid to the oil refineries in France.
My grandfather left behind his wife and 3-year-old son, his namesake, who went on to become a Special Agent with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. My grandmother never remarried. I was born 20 years later in 1965, never having the chance to know
him. In 1997 I had a "near death experience" that began my search to know him. I am usually very open to things that just
"happen" to others but I must say, I know I met him, his scent is still on my hospital night gown that I have put away. So
it is with much love that I place him here with everyone who gave all. With all my love,