John Hamar Hill

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Group Captain John Hamar “Johnnie” Hill, CBE (28 December 1912 – 1998) was a British Royal Air Force officer.

He was born on 28 December 1912 and educated at Dover College, where he had been a College Prefect and a good games player.

He took a commission in the RAF in 1932 and by 1940 he had taken command of 504 Squadron – a Hurricane squadron. He was shot down over France and wounded in a famous incident where he was mistaken for a spy. After recovering from these injuries he was given command of 222 Squadron whose Spitfires suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Britain.

Later in the war Hill was appointed chief flying instructor at No 57 Operational Training Unit and then Station Commander at Exeter and RAF Church Stanton. In 1942 he was mentioned in dispatches and posted to New Zealand as an Air Staff Officer. The end of the war saw Hill at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, where he was promoted Group Captain. He was appointed CBE in 1946.

After the war Johnnie Hill was seconded to the French Air Ministry in 1950 and ended his career as Director of Command and Staff Training and then Senior Personnel Staff Officer. He retired in 1960 and became the Export Officer of the Society of British Aerospace Companies and a VIP co-ordinator at the Farnborough Air Show. He died in 1998.