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Interview of Max L. Hill, Jr. by Sergio Duncan

March 29, 2013

Portrait Feature Article Transcript

Max Hill Jr., an Illinois native, has a life’s journey that takes him through enlistment in the Armed Forces towards the end of World War II to involvement in some of the first atomic bomb flying squadrons. Hill begins his interview with an insight into his enlistment into the Army; he then describes his studies at Purdue University, where he focused on Mechanical Engineering. Through a roundabout series of events, Hill was then appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. In the interview, Hill goes into detail about his decision to attend pilot training upon graduation and expands on of some of his experiences there.

While in the service, Hill traveled to a variety of places, including Hawaii and Guam. As Hill gained experience in the Air Force, he was appointed to one of the first atomic bomb flight training squads. Although Hill’s unit never actually deployed an atomic bomb, it came very close to doing so. An assumed training exercise soon became a sobering close call for Hill—the operation was carried out until the very last minute when the mission was aborted by higher powers. After Hill’s time in the service came to an end, he moved on to pursue a career in real estate here in Charleston. Hill then goes into detail about Charleston’s development from its humble beginnings into its now lucrative and prosperous state. Mr. Hill provides full accounts of military experiences and intriguing life stories that make this interview one for the ages.

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