New England Air Museum
William C. (Billy) Hitchcock
Recent Address:
Opelika, AL
Family Information:
Parents: W.F. and Sallie
Inverness, AL
Date Entered Service:
August 13, 1942
Service Number:
Bomb Group:
58th Bomb Wing
Location of Unit:
Missions Flown:
Hump Missions Flown:
Service Schools Attended:
Military Specialty(ies):
Rank Upon Discharge:
Crew Type:
Airplane Serial No.& Name:
Were you a POW?
Were you interned?
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged from the 58th:
February 19, 1946
Post-WWII Military Service:
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
Major League Baseball Player, Manager. The utility infielder played nine years in the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1942, 1946), the Washington Senators (1946), the St. Louis Browns (1947), the Boston Red Sox (1948 to 1949), the Philadelphia Athletics (1950 to 1952) and the Tigers (1953).
He was a coach for the Tigers from 1955 to 1960 and got his first taste of managing when Detroit traded manager Jimmy Dykes to the Cleveland Indians for manager Joe Gordon on August 3, 1960. He managed one game until Gordon arrived. On October 10, 1961, Baltimore named him to succeed Lum Harris as manager. The Orioles went 77-85 and a seventh-place finish in 1962 and 86-76 and fourth place in 1963. He was replaced by Hank Bauer but stayed on as an Orioles field coordinator and scout. The Milwaukee Braves hired him as a scout, and when the club moved to Atlanta, he became a coach under manager Bobby Bragan. The Braves fired Bragan on August 9, 1966, and Hitchcock guided them to a 33-14 record the rest of the season and a fifth-place finish. With the club stumbling at 77-82 and in seventh place, he was fired on September 30, 1967 with three games remaining.
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
Hitchcock played ball with the Hickam Bombers.  In July 1945, Hitchcock played for the 58th Bomb Wing Wingmen on the 20th Air Force tour of Pacific Islands. The Wingmen, managed by Birdie Tebbetts, were based at West Field, Tinian and played round-robin competitions against Buster Mills' 73rd Bomb Wing and Lew Riggs’ 313th Bomb Wing. The Wingmen, with a line-up that featured Enos Slaughter and Joe Gordon, won the Iwo Jima series in August 1945.
Mr. Hitchcock passed away April 9, 2006 and is buried at Rosemere Cemetery, Opelika, AL


Previous 58th Bomb Wing Veterans Index Next