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.
Jims 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, Jims 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.
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
and I attended Jim Hixs interment at Barrancas National Cemetery
in Pensacola on 14 Nov. Marilyn and I drove over from Niceville.
As the time approached for Jims ceremony, over 15 Ravens gathered
around us at the mausoleum. Jims 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. Ill 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 boatsthe Faux Pas and the Nevermore. Nevermore,
old Raven friend.