Mitchell Flint died Saturday at his Los Angeles home at age 94.
Flint served in the Navy in World War II, serving on the carrier USS Wasp under the command of Admiral John S. McCain Sr. and earning three Air Medals and eight Navy Unit Commendations. After the war, he was one of a group of non-Israeli volunteers who flew for Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, operating alongside Ezer Weizman, a future Israeli Air Force commander, defense minister and president.
According to a spokesman for the family, Flint lied to his mother about what he was doing to spare her any anguish — telling her he was actually attending the London Olympics. He even arranged to have postcards sent to his mother from London.
Instead, Flint actually went to Czechoslovakia for training and began service that saw him fly dozens of missions on behalf of Israel — some in German Messerschmitts that were captured in World War II and had the Star of David painted over the Nazi insignia. He later flew in Israel’s first Independence Day Parade in 1949.
The exploits of Flint and his fellow pilots were documented in the book “Angels in the Sky,” which is set for release in October.
During his career, he flew missions in the Corsair, the P-51 Mustang, the Messerschmitt and British Spitfire.
After his military service, Flint moved to Los Angeles and became an attorney in Hollywood, although he continued to fly. When he was 90, Flint was honored by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during ceremonies recognizing the 65th anniversary of the birth of Israel.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations in Flint’s honor be made to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at www.fidf.org.
Flint is survived by his wife, Joyce, and sons Michael and Guy.
—City News Service
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