In Memoriam

James Henry Hix, Jr.

James “Jim” Henry Hix, Jr., 69, of Pensacola, Fla., passed away Nov. 4, 2014, alone at home after a heart attack and fall down his stairway. He was born Dec. 16, 1944 in Ocilla, Ga. to parents James Sr. and A. Sue Satterfield Hix. He graduated from Escambia High School, Pensacola, in 1963 and the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1968.

During high school, Jim and his brother kept the family supplied with fish as scuba divers in Pensacola Bay. As an adult he enjoyed gardening, motor boating, and water skiing with his family in St. Andrews Bay, Panama City, Fla. He would brag that he had enough Jimmy Buffet music to get him and his ski boat from his home in Atlanta all the way to Panama City. Whether in his ski boat or on his Hatteras “Nevermore,” one could count on his sighing and saying, “I wonder what the peasants are doing today.”

Jim served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force for two tours as a Forward Air Control 0-1 Bird Dog pilot over Laos, first with the Red Markers and then with the Ravens group. He was shot down and injured behind enemy lines twice. Air America pilots rescued him each time. His experiences have been included in such books as The Ravens by Christopher Robbins, Cash on Delivery by Thomas Leo Briggs, and Quoth the Raven by Jim Roper.
He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak clusters. Next he became a flight instructor at Craig AFB. Afterward he briefly trained as a U-2 pilot. When he left the Air Force he flew for Saudia Airlines, then Evergreen Air Freight, and finally retired from United Airlines after 18 years, flying 757-767 jets. He served as captain for each airline.

Upon retirement he returned to Pensacola to live on the Perdido River. As a veteran and as a retiree, he was haunted by PTSD, depression, and health problems from his war injuries and experiences.
Jim is survived by his older sister, Joyce Hix (Max) Dannecker of Panama City, and younger brother Chester David (Jane) Hix of Montgomery, Ala.; nieces Carolyn Hix Shelton, Christina Hix Wills, Kathy Dannecker Harris, Erin Dannecker; nephew Todd Waite; and their children; aunts Madge Brady Hix, Mattie Hix Saylors, Ruth Hix Rice, Verleen Hix Alexander, Vergie Hix Westbrook, and Joyce Satterfield Mulkey; as well as numerous cousins; and a former wife, Haven Knowles Hix.

Jim’s ashes are interred at Barrancas National Cemetery on NAS Pensacola. His family and friends, his former wife, his boyhood friends, and his well-regarded Ravens attended his funeral.     (Joyce Hix Dannecker, Jim’s sister)

I knew Jim originally I believe at the 18th squadron, he was in '68 as you recall better than I, and probably left for the 6th Squaudron at the end of his 3rd class year as that became the norm. I spent some time with him at the 41st Raven reunion. He was in terrible shape, suffered from PTS and depression as you can see from the attached photo. Request you not forward this picture to anyone outside of the 18th.

Our claim to fame is that we destroyed the two plane Raven T-28 fleet at our base at Long Tieng, Laos in 70-71. I bailed out of #599 in May of 70, he bailed out of #600 about six months later. The story is in The Ravens and is kind of funny.They never gave the Ravens at Long Tieng any more T-28s, which of course pissed of the other Ravens that were waiting to get checked out. It was an almost perfect plane for the job back in the day.

They moved Jim to a "low threat" area down south, but he got shot up and crash landed a second airplane, an O-1. As I recall we got $60/month tax free for combat pay, no one was in it for the money of course, we were in it for the challenge I guess. It took 15 years for the program to be even partially declassified, so there wasn't much fame and glory either. Which is the way it should be in my humble opinion. We take care of that part ourselves.

I may or may not be going, many Ravens will be there. We are asking one of the Hmong backseaters who knew Jim to attend.


John H Fuller

Chad (Swedberg) and I attended Jim Hix’s interment at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola on 14 Nov. Marilyn and I drove over from Niceville. As the time approached for Jim’s ceremony, over 15 Ravens gathered around us at the mausoleum. Jim’s brother and sister and other family members thanked all of us for being there. The Navy chaplain spoke to all of us who served in VN. A very moving and emotional moment. I’ll always treasure the times Jim and I had together whenever he would visit me in Ubon, Thailand (I was a C-130A gunship pilot at Ubon, he was a Raven living in nearby Savanakeht and Pakse Laos). Jim had two boats—the Faux Pas and the Nevermore. Nevermore, old Raven friend.

Vern McGraw

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