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Official Obituary of

Lt. Colonel Marvin Hamilton

January 16, 1925 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old

Lt. Colonel Marvin Hamilton Obituary

Lt. Colonel Marvin Hamilton, USAF, Ret. traded his pilot’s wings for angel wings Tuesday, February 6, 2024.  Marvin was born January 16, 1925, to Dale and Effie Hamilton of Kewanee, Illinois. He was preceded by Phyllis, his loving wife of 67 years, his parents, sisters; Margaret, Martha, Mildred, Marilyn, and Kathryn, and brothers; Milton, Dale Jr., and Kenneth and son-in-law, Michael Crockett.

He is survived by his brother, Thomas D. (Eloise) of San Bernardino, CA.  His children Patricia Crockett, Mont Belvieu, TX, Deborah Simmons (Bill), Fairhope, AL, and Steven Hamilton, Normal, IL.  Three grandchildren Stephanie Luna (Tim), Pearland, TX, Matthew Heller (Crystal), Mont Belvieu, TX and Rebecca Garrett, Fairhope, AL. Ten great-grandchildren Emily Robertson (Christopher), Elana and Jordan Luna, Pearland, TX, Michael and Kacie Heller, Mont Belvieu, TX, William, Kayson, Houston, Sadie, and Aiden Garrett, Fairhope, AL and one great-great-grandson Larsen Robertson, Pearland, TX as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Marvin was a 1942 graduate of Wethersfield High School. He attended Western University in Illinois before he enlisted in the Army Air Corp, which later became the United States Air Force in 1947. Education was important to him and he worked diligently throughout his career taking college classes wherever he was stationed.  He reached his goal in 1972 when he graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with his BS degree in Business.

Marvin’s remarkable career began during World War II with basic training at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO.  While he was there, President Roosevelt inspected the troops, a show of recognition and appreciation for their future service and sacrifice.  He graduated fighter pilot training in Selma, AL. Soon after, he flew the new B-25 aircraft to Burma via South America.  He flew the famous “Hump” of the Himalayan mountains in C-47s to ferry supplies to China.  Later, he flew all models of aircraft from Kunming to Shanghai.  He was also the pilot for the Commanding General assisting with the rebuilding of China.

Lt. Hamilton served with the 13th Bomb Squadron in Korea. He flew night intruder missions in B-26s where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his meritorious service in combat.

After Korea, he served as an instructor pilot at Langley AFB, VA. before his transfer to England.  In England, he flew the B-45, the first jet aircraft to carry nuclear weapons.

Captain Hamilton was stationed at Schilling AFB, KS where he flew B-47s during the Cold War.  Major Hamilton was assigned to Headquarters 15th Air Force, March AFB, CA serving as Chief of the Alert Management Division, 15th AF. Promoted to Lt. Col., he was transferred to Strategic Air Command (SAC) Headquarters, Offutt AFB, NE. During his time at Offutt he worked with national security planning, was a staff member on the Flying Command Post, and served as Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s pilot. 

While in Vietnam, 1971, he was Commander of the 6250th Combat Support Squadron and Assistant Chief of Staff 7th Air Force.  His last assignment was Whiteman AFB, MO as base Chief of Staff.  Throughout his long and distinguished career, he was also awarded the Bronze Star, four Air Medals and various Air Commendations.

He was a command pilot with over 6,700 flying hours in over 21 different aircraft, his favorite being the P-51 Mustang. Marvin’s oral documentation of his 32 years of service is available in the Library of Congress as part of the Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov. Enter Marvin Hamilton in the search bar.

After retiring in 1974, he and Phyllis built their dream home on the golf course in Gulf Shores, AL.  They traveled the country visiting friends, family and seeking new adventures.  After moving back to Illinois, they spent winters at the FAM Camp, MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL., where they made many new and special friendships and enjoyed great golf.  A self-taught golfer, he was the first American to win the local English Cup in Peterborough, England. He also scored several holes in one.  Marvin loved, fishing, hunting, gardening, and the outdoors.  In his later years, he enjoyed the summer concerts in Danvers and Peoria, IL.  He was a member of the Order of Daedalians Military Pilots Association, Retired Officers Association, Golf Volunteers at MacDill AFB, the McLean County Seniors Golf League, the Front Porch Golfers in Bloomington and the Literary Center of Normal, IL.

Marvin’s greatest joy was his family.  He relished the times he could spend with his grandchildren and later his great and great-great grandchildren.  They will always cherish the very special memories of those precious times.

Military honor graveside services will be held at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, IL at noon on March 15, 2024.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Honor Flight Network, an organization honoring WWII, Korea and Vietnam Veterans. Honored Veterans travel free of charge for a day of honor at our nation’s memorials in Washington, D.C. www.honorflight.org/donate/, the Danvers Town Band, c/o Barney Argo, P.O. Box 425, Danvers, IL 61732, or a charity of your choice.

Obituary and tributes may be viewed at www.birdsongcremations.com/obituaries. 

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