Prewar Life

Family Life

Experience with Death


Peggy Hitchcock was born in June 1933. Her parents were happy. She enjoyed school. They would walk across the beach. Her father passed away when she was 11 years old. After this event, the children were left to their own devices. On a Sunday, her parents went to a professional football game. Her parents were listening to their little radio and heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941]. They knew the Germans were fighting a war in Europe. Hitchcock knew nothing would be the same. Her father signed up for service immediately. He was supposed to go to China. He was in the Air Force. He was stationed in England in 1944. Her governess told her that he had been killed in action. [Annotator’s Note: Hitchcock describes her father.] Hitchcock read comic books. Her father loved flying. He had been shot down in World War One [Annotator's Note: World War 1, global war originating in Europe; 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918].


Peggy Hitchcock describes the book about her father. [Annotator’s Note: Hitchcock describes a book, Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour authored by Lynne Olson]. Her father thought it was his responsibility to give back. He was idolized by his friends. Hitchcock had asthma and she was sent to live with her grandfather in South Carolina. Her father would write her a story every day. She would get a new chapter every day. She was three or four years old. She would go out and sit in the woods. She learned how to ride a horse. Her father was a present person.


Peggy Hitchcock remembers her father was a happy person who loved life and entertaining people. He loved giving back. He loved flying planes. He wanted to fly planes in World War Two, but they said he was too old. He had to test the P-51 [Annotator's Note: North American P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft] because they had heavier gas tanks. Her father died on the plane he was test-flying. He had tried to bail out because they found his body, but he was too close to the ground. Her father earned the Distinguished Flying Cross [Annotator's Note: the Distinguished Flying Cross, or DFC, is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight] posthumously.

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