Squadron Leader George Urquhart Hill, DFC & Two Bars

DoB: October 29, 1918

DoD: November 1969

Cause of death: Traffic accident

Confirmed kills: 14, 3 probable

Awards:

Distinguished Flying Cross & Two Bars

Photo of S/L Hill taken in 1941

Used with permission from acesofww2.com

Biography

George Hill was born in Nova Scotia, on the 29th of October 1918. He enlisted into the RAF at the age of 20, in September of 1939 training at the Halifax Aero Club. After a year of training, he graduated and received his wings. He was posted to No.111 squadron, where unfortunately nothing was written of his achievements. At some point he was promoted from officer cadet to Pilot Officer, and then from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer and finally from Pilot Officer to Flight Lieutenant. In 1942, Hill was an experienced flight lieutenant working with a relatively young and inexperienced squadron. The squadron was confined to convey and coastal patrol, where they were gaining flying experience, and as such, were eager for some action. The “Baby band” was given new Spitfires, and after the maintenance crew became familiar with the new planes, dozens of operations were greenlit. As a lieutenant, he helped lead his squadron into many battles including fighter and Hurricane bombing raids on Nazi objectives in France.

In 1943, George made many notable achievements, including being awarded his DFC, his first, and second bar. His first achievement came when he shot down two Junkers-87’s on March 6th, 1943. His victories were 2 of the 5 scored by the R.A.F spitfires in their defence to stop a bombing raid between Medjez-El-Bab and Beja. By April 27th of 1943 he had 4 destroyed aircraft to his name, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On the last day of April, 1943, George was promoted to S/L and put in charge of a famous R.A.F. fighter squadron in North Africa. On the next day he led his squadron into battle and shared two kills, with one of his own. Earlier he reportedly had also shared the destruction of a Heinkel 111, bringing his kills up by a fifth. His Squadrons achievements were extensive, ranking the top of the list in the fighter group, an extremely competitive category.

Later in May, in recognition of his achievements, he was awarded the first bar to the DFC. His superiors commented on his leadership, mentioning that he had brought great success to his squadron, No. 111. As well as mentioning the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft throughout April. Eventually Africa fell, and No.111 was relocated. On the 14th of July Allied fighters destroyed 22 enemy planes, George was rapidly increasing his number of destroyed aircraft, with another 2 kills to his name. On July 18th Maj Gen. James Doolittle gave “special commendation” to No.111, Mala-based Canadian Spitfire Squadron, and officially declared that among others, George Urquhart Hill, with 13 destroyed aircraft to his name, was a new Ace of WW2. In September he was the second member of the R.C.A.F. to win his second bar to his D.F.C.

Squadron Leader George Urquhart Hill was a skilful pilot and an inspiration leader. Under his command new pilots were awarded their DFC. He was imprisoned in Germany later in the war, but eventually was released and returned home. After the war he reportedly was a family man as well as a doctor. Tragically, as he was turning onto his driveway, he was hit by another car, and killed instantly. He was as skilful a pilot as he was a leader, and he led his squadron to many victories.

Trivia

  • George Urquhart Hill was the second RCAF Pilot to receive his second bar to his DFC

 

References

George Urquhart Hill. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2020, from https://acesofww2.com/can/aces/hill.htm