Captain Neese Davis Hicks

Captain Neese Davis Hicks, loving and beloved husband and father,
passed away early on the morning of August 9th, 2004,
in Concord, California.

Neese Davis Hicks (Neese D. Hicks) was both a military and civilian pilot who flew perilous cargo missions in combat theaters in six wars and conflicts: World War II, the Nationalist China conflict against the Communists, the C. I. A. troop drops in Tibet, the Korean War, the Laos Conflict, and the Vietnam War, at Dien Bien Phu. He flew for the Army Air Corps, Air America, Civil Air Transport, Southern Air Transport, and later in peace time for Japan Air Lines. His aviation career endured for nearly 28 years.

Captain Hicks was born in High Point, North Carolina, on February 1st, 1922. He entered military service in 1941 and served first as an armorer. He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps and began his military aviation career by ferrying airplanes between bases within the United States. Later he began his cargo combat missions by joining Air America and flying the "Hump," the Himalayas Mountains, between India and China.

After World War II he volunteered for cargo missions supplying the Nationalist Chinese armed forces in their struggle against the Communists. In Shanghai, China, he met Marie J. Da Costa in 1946. They married in 1949 and moved to High Point, North Carolina, where he attended High Point College as a pre-medical student for two years. In High Point his first two sons, David and Gary, were born.

In 1953 he became a pilot for Air America and moved his family to Tokyo, Japan, and was based for his flights at Tachikawa U. S. Air Base. He flew first for Air America, then Civil Air Transport and Southern Air Transport. In 1968 he became a pilot for Japan Air Lines, flying passengers between the Japanese islands, Taiwan, Okinawa and Korea.

In Tokyo his other two sons, Bryan and Lester, were born.

In 1971 he returned to the U. S. A. to live in Ashland, Oregon, and bought a hardware store in Medford, which he operated from 1972 to 1977. He also bought and lived on a small ranch where he raised beef cattle. He returned to aviation for two years in 1981-1982 as a pilot for a charter line, flying small single and twin-engine craft. He also worked as a realtor in Ashland for several years. In 1998 he retired to Pittsburg, California.

All during his life Captain Hicks expressed a love for the natural beauty and wildlife of America. He loved to travel to the great wilderness areas and national parks such as Yosemite, the Redwoods, Rocky Mountains National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He imparted this intense love of nature to all his sons.

One of his favorite hobbies was painting. He did several oils of landscapes, still lifes, his infant son, and wildlife. His last oil, done just a few months ago, was of an eagle flying over a mountain lake.

Captain Hicks had risen beyond humble beginnings and a country life as a self-educated, learned man, informed in science and nature’s wonders.

He was the loving and beloved husband of Marie and father to sons David, Gary, Bryan and Lester. His wife and children all survive him.

Captain Hicks was a courageous man who risked his life in his duty to his country’s request to engage in the struggle for freedom overseas in six wars. Now his spirit, like the brave eagle that he is, soars high into the bright eternal light.

Memorial services will be held at Saint Roberts Church, San Bruno, CA., 1380 Crystal Springs Road and Oak Street, on Sat. September 4th at 11am PDT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to a charity of one’s own choosing. See Legacy.Com and Air-America.Org for more history.

[Page saved from the Internet was reposted here by Roy]

Also see
He became an Airline Pilot. Juanita's uncle Neese would tell Roy many fascinating stories over dinner many years ago.

The Flying Tiger: The True Story Of General Claire Chennault And The U.S ... By Jack Samson
"We flew the last few miles just fifty feet above the ground to avoid radar," said pilot Neese Hicks. "We would land at dawn, eat a fast breakfast, and be back in the air toward Takhli." (1)

See end of page (2), (3) Possibly with the CAT-Civil Air Transport (Roy researched only his name then found he had the above Obit for him. He was with CAT.

CAT PILOTS TO BE HONORED BY FRANCE (France’s Highest Military Honor Awarded Fifty Years After Epic Indochina Battle)
Dien Bien Phu

The Secret War in Laos – And How I Got There by Warren Erickson
"...I walked in to see the chief pilot, Captain Hicks, and asked for a transfer to Vientiane"