Hixson B. Eldridge

Apr 09, 2014

World War II Veteran

CLYDE — Hixson Burch Eldridge, 92, passed away peacefully at home Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Hixson was born in Sale Creek, Tennessee, and was the son of the late Sherman Burch Eldridge and Nettie Hixson Eldridge.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1944 and was assigned to the 456 B-24 Bomber Group in Cherignola, Italy, flying missions over Eastern Europe.  During his 12th mission, the plane lost two engines due to enemy fire, and the crew was forced to bail out near Sarejavo, Yugoslavia.  Hixson resumed flying and completed his 35th mission April 1945, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

He served in the Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean Conflict.  When discharged from active duty in 1953, the family moved to Florida.  He joined the Reserves until he retired with 20 years of service achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.  Hixson began working for Darnold and Dorsey Insurance Agency and continued there until his retirement.  He and his wife moved to Clyde in 2004 and spent their time enjoying the mountains and family.

Hixson leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Bettye Jean Wright Eldridge; four children, Pamela Fordham (Stephen), of Jacksonville, Florida, Robert Eldridge (Terre), of Clyde, Hixson Jr. (Penny), of Brasselton, Georgia, and Patty Bingham (Barry), of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Hixson will be laid to rest at East Tennessee State Veterans’ Cemetery with full military honors.  A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Crabtree Baptist Church, 480 Crabtree Church Road, Clyde, NC   28721 or Gideon International – Haywood West Camp, P.O. Box 634, Waynesville, NC  28786.

For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.

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