James Levi Hicks was born August 8, 1923, in Cleveland, Tennessee, and enlisted at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on February 18, 1943. He was the son of Levi Wilson Hicks and Cleo Effie Randolph Hicks and had one year of college at the time of his enlistment.
Sergeant Hicks was a radioman aboard a B-24J-180 CO Liberator 44-40783 assigned to the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Bombardment Squadron.
The B-24J he was assigned to was flying a mission on August 31, 1944, at 430pm from Liuchow Airfield at Liuchow, China to bomb enemy ships in Takao Harbor off Takao Kaohsiung on Formosa (Taiwan). The plane was intercepted by A6M Zeros and was hit by anti-aircraft fire and fighters. The crew bailed out, including Sgt. Hicks, but was not seen again after hitting the water. The parachuting crew was fired upon as they descended. The entire crews were declared Killed in Action on August 31, 1944 and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at the Manila American Cemetery.
Pilot 1st Lt. Norman B Clendenen, O-427299 MIA KIA Stockton, CA
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert B. Reade, O-699850 MIA KIA Sacramento, CA
Navigator 2nd Lt. John W. Roney, O-706547 MIA KIA Chattanooga, TN
Bombardier SSgt Howard N. Young, O-697755 MIA KIA Colorado Springs, CO
Engineer SSgt Ewald A. Mast, 31247318 MIA KIA Wsterly, RI
Radio Operator Sgt James L. Hicks, 34722415 MIA KIA Cleveland, TN
Gunner Sgt Glen H. Park, 19126712 MIA KIA Los Angeles, CA
Gunner Sgt Milan J. Sliepka, 36650396 MIA KIA Chicago, IL
Gunner Sgt Richard D. Zacharias, 33429963 MIA KIA New Kensington. PA
Radar SSgt Allen S. Guthrie, 15082134 MIA KIA Indianapolis, IN
Observer Captain George K. O’Neil, O-427621 POW, survived Ames, IA
James Hicks was the twin brother of my father, Clyde R. Hicks, who also served in WWII. My son is named after James, and I have quite a bit of memorabilia from his life and service.
–Martha Touchton, his niece
- Rank: Sergeant
- Date of birth: 8 August 1923
- Date of death: 31 August 1944
- County: Bradley
- Hometown: Cleveland
- Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
- Division/Assignment: 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
- Location In Memorial: Pillar VII, Top Panel
- Sponsored by: Martha Touchton
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