Home | About | Pre WWI | WWI | WWII | Korea | Vietnam | Post Vietnam | Non Wartime | Wounded | Decorated | Contact Us | Search

Dale Hills

Ballplayers Who Were Prisoners of War


Date and Place of Birth: October 24, 1922 Albion, MI
Date and Place of Death:    March 3, 1983 Aberdeen, MS
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Private
Military Unit: Medical Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Dale A. Hills, the son of Forest and Alberta Hills, was born on October 24, 1922 in Albion, Missouri. Hills graduated from Marshall High School in 1941, having pitched for the varsity baseball team for three years, played center on the basketball team, tackle on the football team and was a pole-vaulter and high-jumper on the track team, holding the Twin Valley pole vault record.  

Hills was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in August 1941 and sent to the Johnson City Cardinals of the Class D Appalachian League for his rookie season in 1942. The 19-year-old pitched 24 games for an 11-11 record – second-best in wins to teammate and former big leaguer Jim Mooney who won 15. Another member of the 1942 Johnson City pitching staff was Stanford Wolfson – who, as the co-pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress shot down over Germany in November 1944, was murdered by the German criminal police.  

It was a promising start for the 6-foot-2-inch right-hander but baseball was put on hold when Hills entered military service in February 1943. He was stationed at Camp Grant, Illinois for a while where he pitched for the camp ball team and was later stationed in Kentucky.  

Hills went overseas as a medic with the 330th Infantry Regiment of the 83rd Infantry Division, leaving New York for England on April 6, 1944. Private Hills landed at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 25, and advanced to an area near Carentan, where he was taken prisoner on July 8, 1944, when the 1st and 2nd Battalion aid stations were captured by German forces during their counterattack against the 330th Infantry Regiment. “A German patrol entered our Aid Station . . . and took prisoner of approximately 50 of our men,” explained Private Stanley Blanch in a report the following day. “Two of our jeeps also taken, but jeep with medical supplies left for our use. Two of our medical orderlies and five aid men were left behind to take care of our wounded. We were not mistreated in any way by the Germans.”  

News that Private Hills was missing in action reached his mother shortly afterwards, but it was not until early September that it was confirmed he was alive and a prisoner of war.  

Hills was detained at Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany and was liberated on April 12, 1945. After nine months as a prisoner of war, he returned to the United States and was sent to Percy Jones Convalescent hospital at Fort Custer, Michigan, to receive treatment for malnutrition.  

Aged 23, Hills returned to the Cardinals organization in 1946 and pitched for the Pocatello Cardinals of the Class C Pioneer League. He made 31 appearances on the mound for a 5-10 record and 5.65 ERA. It was to be his final year in professional baseball.  

He married Helen Ferrin in December 1946, and from 1947 to 1949, Hills pitched for the Oliver Corporation team in the Battle Creek AA league. He went on to pitch for the Olivet Merchants in the early 1950s and also for the Olivet College team when he attended that school.  

Hills moved to Kalamazoo in 1955 and to Jackson in 1965. He was employed by the Walker Corporation, in Jackson and then in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where he moved in late 1982.  

On March 3, 1983, aged 60, Dale Hills passed away at the Aberdeen-Monroe County Hospital in Aberdeen, Mississippi after a long battle with cancer. He is buried at the Oakridge Cemetery in Marshall, Michigan. 

Date Added May 18, 2020.

Can you add more information to this biography and help make it the best online resource for this player? Contact us by email

Read Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice Through The Years - an online year-by-year account of military related deaths of ballplayers

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice is associated with Baseball Almanac

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice is proud to be sponsored by

Big League Chew