Douglas Powell Hunter

Douglas Powell Hunter (1920-2014) was born in Providence in 1920 and graduated from Hope High School in 1939.  He joined ROTC at Rhode Island State College. His older brother Bill, a B-17 bomber pilot in Europe, encouraged him to apply to the Army Air Forces. He did so, earning his wings in August of 1944.

He was assigned to China the following year, and with the cessation of hostilities, his unit was transferred to Shanghai in October, 1945. They transported Chinese troops to reoccupy Japanese-held areas in eastern China. Starting in January, 1946, the unit provided air transportation for General George C. Marshall’s Executive Headquarters. The Marshall Mission was a diplomatic attempt to negotiate the Communist Party of China and the Nationalists (Kuomintang) into a unified government. In March, 1946 his transport squadron was reassigned to Peiping in order to better support the Marshall Mission. In February 1947, exasperated with the failure of the negotiations, Marshall left China. Hunter continued to fly in China until April 10, 1947 when his squadron was deactivated. He was offered the chance to stay in China to fly for the newly created China Air Transport, airlifting supplies and food into war-ravaged regions, but he declined and chose to return to the US.  After a career in sales, the longtime East Greenwich resident died March 28, 2014 at the age of 93.

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