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 Edward Jack Hitt

Edward Jack Hitt

Birth
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Death 12 Aug 2011 (aged 93)
Aurora, Lawrence County, Missouri, USA
Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
Memorial ID 75044584 · View Source
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Son of Edgar James and Mary Beatrice (Bynum) Hitt. Married Jo Delle Herrin on Oct. 7, 1945 in Corpus Christi, TX.
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At 30,000 feet above the ground and a frigid 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, pilot Jack Hitt could barely feel his extremities. His toes always had it the worst. But the cold wasn't the only thing the thin aluminum sides of his B-17 bomber failed to keep out very well. Rounds from German fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns seemed to rip through nearly unimpeded. Unimpeded, that is, except by flesh. Hitt lost his top-turret gunner that way once. He called out for him, and turning, found the man lying dead in a pool of blood. He had been hit in the neck. Another time, shrapnel pierced the cockpit and lodged in Hitt's own leg. It was impossible to feel secure, especially as the pilot. Hitt "said the German fighters' first goal was to kill the pilot," good friend and fellow veteran Jack Wells said. "He knew they were gunning for him. "It would wake him up at night for the rest of his life," Wells said. "He used to say 'I can still see those guys in my sleep, coming at me head-on.' " Hitt completed nearly 80 missions as a pilot with the 8th Air Force. Among his many decorations were two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals and a Purple Heart. A longtime Tulsa-based real estate developer, Edward Jack Hitt died Friday in Aurora, Mo. He was 93. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home of Aurora was in charge of cremation arrangements. In a 2009 Tulsa World article about a local visit by a touring B-17, Hitt remarked about getting to ride along as a passenger: "It's great. It's like going home after 65 years." Despite the dangers and conditions he'd flown in, Hitt liked to revisit the experience. He was active with the Tulsa chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, a group based at Jones Riverside Airport that restores WWII-era aircraft. Flying on the restored planes was uneventful, though. During the war, Hitt's B-17 was even shot down once, forcing him and his crew to bail out over Belgium. Hitt also served briefly as part of the 8th Air Force's 3rd Scouting Force, where, as the pilot of a P-51 Mustang, he helped scout ahead in advance of major bombing missions. The secretive Scouting Forces were formed in 1944 and continued for six months. Hitt was discharged in 1945 with the rank of first lieutenant. Born and raised in San Antonio, Hitt moved to Tulsa in 1956 from Corpus Christi, Texas. In Tulsa, after a successful career in pharmaceutical sales, he moved into real estate development and built shopping centers, nursing homes and other projects. In his spare time, he indulged a lifelong love of cars. Hitt owned several race cars and was a familiar personality for years at Tulsa's annual Chili Bowl Nationals. Vintage midget racing was his passion, and he lovingly restored many old midget cars. Wells and others worked to gather and scan more than 400 photos and documents chronicling Hitt's war experiences. The originals soon will be archived at the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Ga., Wells said. Hitt's son Joe Hitt said his father "had a very kind heart. He always believed in helping the down and out, almost to his detriment." Hitt is survived by three sons, Joe Hitt, Jim Hitt and Jay Hitt; a daughter, Julia Metcalf; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
(Tulsa World, Tim Stanley, Writer, Tulsa, OK Aug. 17, 2011)


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  • Created by: MillieBelle
  • Added: 17 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75044584
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Jack Hitt (23 Jun 1918–12 Aug 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75044584, ; Maintained by MillieBelle (contributor 46628380) Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.