Resident’s Free Day for December, held typically on a Tuesday, occurs during December Nights free entry, on the 1st and 2nd, (Fri/Sat).
Recently, the San Diego Air & Space Museum received a donation of Louis James Hector’s service trunk. This unique artifact contains WWII related memorabilia including his flight log, silk maps, photographs, medals, his caps and uniform pieces, aircraft manuals and correspondence.
The Louis James Hector’s service trunk contains a variety of memorabilia from his life.
Louis J. Hector was a US Army Air Corps fighter pilot in WWII, Pacific Theater. He flew both the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang and eventually made the rank of Captain. Prior to the war, he was a student at the Virginia Military Institute until he joined the War effort. After training, he was sent by train to San Francisco and sailed to the Pacific Theater on a converted cruise ship, of which he said, "the pilots were the only ones who did not get seasick." He landed at Port Moresby, New Guinea and then island hopped to Ie Shima, chasing the Japanese.
Louis Hector in the cockpit of his P-51 Mustang.
After the War he attended Cornell and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Louis J. Hector remained in the Air National Guard and flew jets. He became an aerospace engineer employed at San Diego and Los Angeles military bases, where he worked on classified projects and was also involved in the Apollo space missions and spent time in Alice Springs, Australia. Louis Hector passed away on January 24, 1998 in San Diego, CA.
Louis Hector's flight jacket.
Newspaper article in which Hector describes seeing the blast from the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.