World War II veteran honored

Published on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:36 - Written by Staff Reports

The second-oldest living World War II veteran was given his own special day and a key to the city at a ceremony in Henderson on Tuesday.

Tuesday was proclaimed “E.E. Hill Day” in honor of 107-year-old Elmer Everett “E.E.” Hill, with an official proclamation and key to the city by Henderson Mayor Pat Brack. Hill also was gifted a Texas flag by District 11 Texas Rep. Travis Clardy, a U.S. flag flown over the capital in Washington, D.C., by District 1 U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and a cane hand carved by prisoners in the Bradshaw State Jail. The ceremony was held at Emeritus Senior Living, 1000 W. Richardson Drive.

Hill was drafted into the Navy during World War II, and served as a cook and gunner on an aircraft carrier.

He also was a revered educator in the community and served as principal of Henderson Colored High School, an African-American school in Rusk County, according to the Hill High Alumni Association website.

He was named principal in 1941, but left his post to serve his country, according to the association.

Hill got his job back after the war, and was at his helm when it was renovated and modernized in the 1950s.

The student council decided to change the school’s name in the 1960s, and students voted to name the high school Hill High School after its principal.

Hill served as the school’s principal until it closed in the spring of 1970 after because of a government mandated integration law, according to the organization.