Ernest Lenard Hilbert

Aviation Ordnanceman Ernest Lenard Hilbert was born 14 June 1920 at Quinn, South Dakota, and enlisted in the United States Navy 10 April 1940 at Los Angeles, California.

Navy career

In November 1940 he was assigned duty with Bombing Squadron 6 and took part in attacks on the Marshall Islands, Wake Island, and Marcus Island.

Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

Hilbert was killed during an aerial attack against enemy forces during the Battle of Midway, 4–6 June 1942. By maintaining skillful and continuous fire from his free machine guns, Hilbert enabled his pilot to escape the devastating enemy fighter attacks. While pursuing the same bold and fearless tactics in the second attack, he was shot down. Hilbert was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


USS Hilbert (DE-742) was named in his honor. The ship was launched 18 July 1943 by Western Pipe & Steel Co.; sponsored by Mrs. Fern Hilbert Wier, sister of Aviation Ordnanceman Hilbert; and commissioned 4 February 1944.

See also


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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