Prescott Friends of NRA held their annual fundraising event this past summer, and at every Arizona Friends of NRA event, all veterans are asked to stand before dinner. Each veteran is asked their length of service, and the longest serving/living veteran in the room goes home with a special Veteran award. The veteran piece and the honor of presenting to the longest standing veteran is then auctioned off. It was Colonel David B. Hamilton who went home with this award at the Prescott Friends of NRA event, and his life story is quite remarkable.
Lt. Colonel David B. Hamilton, pictured above with Friends of NRA Field Representative, Ron Capalongan, is currently 100 years old. Ron shared, “Lt. Colonel Hamilton’s presence made our event extra special. Everyone wanted to bid on the veteran piece for him, and all night, David was a driving force of positive energy and liberty.”
Lt. Colonel David B. Hamilton’s ancestry reaches back to Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. His father also served as a pilot and officer in World War I and World War II. For David, it all began on December 8, 1941, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when he enlisted in the Army Air Forces. He was assigned to the 436th Troop Carrier Group, and has lost count of the number of missions where bullet holes from the Nazis spiked through his aircraft. Just a couple of years later, in February of 1944, David went overseas to England and was selected as one of the 20 Pathfinder Elite pilots to lead the American Airborne Troop-Drop into Normandy on D-Day. He says he will never forget the flight there and overseeing the hundreds of ships heading to Normandy for the invasion. Just a couple of months after, General Eisenhower selected David to lead the airborne invasion of Southern France from Italy. David led planes to resupply the 101st Airborne.
After his countless missions in World War II, David served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and volunteered to bring back the wounded U.S. troops from Korea. Eventually, he was promoted to Captain for the 37th Bomb Squadron and flew 51 combat missions altogether. After his mission in Korea, he went to Jet School where he was promoted to Major. Eventually, David’s last active duty ended at the Cuban Missile Crisis.
With all Lt. Colonel David B. Hamilton’s experience and great accomplishments, his decorations include: Distinguished Flying Cross (Korea), Air Medal with one Silver and Four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters (WWII and Korea), Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster (WWII and Korea), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, The Dutch Order of William (WWII), and the United Nations Service Medal for Korea.
Ron explained, “Everyone in attendance felt honored to be in the same room as David. It drove the morale of the event, and of course there was a huge increase in fundraising for the future of freedom.”
As we approach Veterans Day, Friends of NRA extends our appreciation to Lt. Colonel David B. Hamilton and all who have served our country. It is the ultimate sacrifice. Our country is strong because of your dedication and bravery!
Find a Friends of NRA event near you! https://www.friendsofnra.org/events