US avi­a­tor who helped form Is­raeli Air Force dies at age 94

Imperial Valley Press - - NEWS -

Mitchell Flint, an Amer­i­can avi­a­tor who helped form the Is­raeli Air Force in 1948 and served in Is­rael’s first fighter squadron has died. He was 94.

Flint, a for­mer US Navy fighter pi­lot, died Satur­day in Los Angeles of nat­u­ral causes, said his son, Michael Flint.

Flint was one of the found­ing mem­bers of “Machal,” a group of non-Is­raelis who fought in the 1948 Arab-Is­raeli War.

He was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the Is­raeli Air Force’s first fighter squadron and helped train Is­rael’s first mil­i­tary pi­lots, his son said.

Flint and other mem­bers of the Machal had flown in Ger­man planes that were cap­tured dur­ing World War II and cov­ered the Nazi in­signia with Stars of David.

He flew in re­built Messer­schmitts, Ger­many’s main fighter plane dur­ing World War II, as well as Mus­tangs and Spit­fires.

When he re­turned to the United States, Flint moved to Los Angeles and be­came a lawyer. He con­tin­ued fly­ing un­til last year, his son said.

“He was a hum­ble man who did what he did and never looked for glory,” Michael Flint said of his fa­ther.

“He was proud of what he did un­til the very end.”

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

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