Howard Davis Hively

Military

Object Number - UPL 13565 - 334th Fighter Squadron CO Capt Howard Hively gives a thumbs-up just before take-off on the first leg of the shuttle mission to Russia on 21 June 1944.

Howard Hively hailed from Columbus, Ohio, and Norman, Oklahoma. While becoming interested in oil leases and attempting to form an aero-exploration firm, he saw a poster in a Dallas hotel inviting him to join the RAF's Eagle Squadrons. He applied, was accepted, and was sent to Bakersfield, California, for fighter pilot training.

Howard, who became known as "Deacon", was shipped out and arrived in England on 1 September 1941, and was assigned to No. 71 Eagle squadron. In September 1942 he was transferred to the U.S. 4th fighter Group.

In June 1943 he was ordered to Tangmere to cover a strike against German U-boat pens at St. Nazaire. After an unexciting mission, at the appointed time the P-47's headed for home. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Deacon's cockpit became very hot and his shoes started to burn. At this point he discovered that his plane was on fire. While debating his next move his prop stopped turning, thus forcing a rapid decision. He didn't relish spending time wet and cold in a dinghy, but being over the English Channel, he had no choice.

He bailed out of his burning plane, and during his descent he decided to get rid of any extraneous equipment. He hit the water and scrambled into his dinghy. Hours later, a launch appeared and picked him up. He was massaged, given warm clothes and a shot of 180-proof rum as they headed back to Portsmouth.

On 6 June 1944, Deacon was promoted to Commanding Officer of the 334th Fighter Squadron, which incidentally coincided with D-Day. On 22 June the "Shuttle Run" to Russia and Italy took place. The first leg from Debden to Russia was 2,200 miles, a seven-and-a-half-hour trek for the 48 fighters that were to escort 104 bombers over their target, Ruhland. They were then to continue on to Russia, where the fighters were to land at Poltava, and the bombers at other bases. Unbelievably, with all the difficulties this mission presented, the Group made it to the field, missing their ETA by only one minute.

Immediately upon landing, the Group was placed under Hively's command, who had the task of assigning quarters, maintenance of the aircraft and attending to Russian protocol. To make matters worse, the Germans had followed the Mustangs and mounted a bombing raid in the middle of the night.

On the 26th they had a mission to Drohobycz, Poland and then continued on to Lucera, Italy. On 2 July, on a mission to Budapest, the group was attacked by 75 Me-109s. In the ensuing battle Hively shot down one Me-109. In turn his canopy was hit by a 20mm shell, badly injuring his right eye. Deacon persisted, using his left eye, to shoot down two more 109's before breaking off and returning to base, where he was hospitalised for his injuries.

On 5 July, with the Group returning to Debden, Deacon went AWOL from the Italian hospital in order to return with them. They flew from Salina, Italy, to escort bombers over Béziers, France, and then on to Debden to complete the third leg of this 6,000 mile triangle.

In October Hively was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in the Budapest battle, where he and two others attacked over 40 enemy fighters and pursued them with skill and perseverance in spite of the overwhelming odds.

In August 1944 he became deputy group and station CO. Deacon served continuously from 1 September 1941 until the end of the war in 1945. He was credited with 14.5 enemy aircraft destroyed. He was credited with destroying 3 ME-109's in a day twice. (May 19, 1944 and July 2, 1944).

He later retired to West Virginia and spent most of his time traveling throughout the States visiting his old friends from the 4th Fighter Group until his welcome wore out. While visiting one in Florida in 1982, he accidentally fell out of the boat they were using to see the sights and died of a heart attack before he could be rescued.

Awards: DSC, DFC (6OLC), AM (7OLC), PH, WWII Victory, EAME (5 x Battle Stars).

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 495th Fighter Training Group 4th Fighter Group 335th Fighter Squadron 551st Fighter Training Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: The DEACON
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: The Deacon
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: The Deacon
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Kanawha County, WV 11 January 1915

Other

Eagle squadron

UK 1 September 1941 Assigned to No. 71 Eagle squadron RAF.

Died

Fort Lauderdale, FL 23 October 1982

Buried

26 October 1982 Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia Columbarium 1, FF-24-3
Norman, OK, USA

Other

Pilot training

Bakersfield, CA Flight training.

Other

Transferred to USAAF

Debden, UK Transferred to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Revisions

Date12 Jun 2018 11:47:43
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Information added by David W. Gilbert, username 'dwgdallas':
https://www.americanairmuseum.com/user/33332

Date10 Apr 2018 03:55:04
ContributorBombay
Sources

personal knowledge

Date22 Feb 2018 22:59:47
Contributordwgdallas
Sources

Pilots of the 4th FG

Date30 Jul 2016 21:22:49
ContributorWD-C Mustang
Sources

Associated media already in DB that had Hively's name in it.

Date25 Feb 2016 14:28:22
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

AAM DB entry.

Date6 Oct 2015 15:11:49
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

AAM DB entry.

Date7 Mar 2015 20:51:30
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date6 Mar 2015 10:46:05
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th fighter Group'; By Frank Speer.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:13:14
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop and Hey p. 155, 4th FG website / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Howard Davis Hively: Gallery (15 items)