Rader Funeral Home - Kilgore, TX

Joseph H. Hatcher
September 17, 1922 - September 10, 2007
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Graveside services for Joe H. Hatcher, 84, of Kilgore, will be 11AM Thursday, September 13, 2007 at Rusk County Memorial Gardens in Henderson with Mr. Mike Pyle officiating. Mr. Hatcher passed away on September 10, 2007 after a lengthy illness.  Mr. Hatcher was born in Atlanta, Texas on Sept. 17, 1922 to the late B.B. and Evelyn Blevins Hatcher.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Anita Stewart Hatcher, his mother, father, and two brothers of Atlanta, Texas, and two sisters: Mrs. Bess Wyatt of Kilgore and Mrs. Selma Lindsey of Longview.

Mr. Hatcher is survived by his son, Chris C. Hatcher, Culebra, Puerto Rico, his daughter, Jo Carol Spurlock and husband Mark of Abilene, Texas; two grandsons, Andy Hatcher and Joey Hatcher of Ponca City, Ok.; two granddaughters, Stephanie Spurlock of Denver, Co. and Emily Spurlock of Abilene, Texas; a great grandson, Noah Hatcher and a great granddaughter Lauren Hatcher of Ponca City, Ok.; and one niece, Mrs. JoAnn Beall of Kilgore, Texas.

Military graveside services will he held on September 13th, 11:00 am at Rusk County Cemetery under directions of Rader Funeral Home.  Visitation will be at Rader Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 12th from 6-8 pm.

            After graduating from Kilgore High School in 1941, Mr. Hatcher joined the U.S. Army Air Force and began his tour in October 7, 1941.  He went overseas in September, 1942.  His squadron of ten planes was stationed in Northern Australia for five months under the command of the Australian Air Force.  They pulled the longest missions of the war until the B-29s came to the Pacific.  In July 1943, he joined the U.S. air group in New Guinea and bombed New Guinea and New Britain.  On December 1, 1943, during his last mission, Mr. Hatcher was shot down at Wewak and was hospitalized in New Guinea and Australia through February, 1944.  He was presented the following medals from General George T. Kenney:  D.F.C., Purple Heart, Air Medal and clusters, good conduct, Southwest Pacific Asian and four stars, and President Citation for American Defense.  Later at Savannah, Ga., he was decorated with the Silver Star for gallantry in action from his plane crash on December 1, 1943.  Mr. Hatcher returned to the states in March, 1944.

            After rehab at Miami he was assigned to Chatman Field in Savannah, Ga. where he instructed B-24 engineers that were going overseas.

            In December,1944, he married Anita Stewart.  In early 1945, Mr. Hatcher went to Florida to learn gunnery systems on the B-29s in order to train other instructors.  He was discharged from the Army in July, 1945 on the point system after Germany surrendered.

            Beginning in September,1945, Mr. Hatcher was employed by Gulf Oil Co. for 33 years, retiring as a field foreman.  After retirement, he worked part time for four years for East Texas Services.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Gregg County Home for the Aged for their wonderful care and support during the past few months of Joes illness.  We would also like to thank Dr. Donald A. Richards and the staff at the Tyler Cancer Center for their medical services and care over the past several years.  Most of all we would like to thank his many dear friends who showed unconditional love and support through his long battle with cancer. You are too numerous to list but you know who you are.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, September 12, 2007 from 6PM to 8PM at the funeral home.  Memorials can be made to Gregg Home for the Aged, Kilgore, Texas.



Joseph H. Hatcher
September 17, 1922 - September 10, 2007




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