Roger Albert Hilstad was born on March 14, 1922, in Goodhue County, Minnesota, the son of Albert Hilstad and Ethel Christine Monson Hilstad. He served in the 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group as a Second Lieutenant during World War II. 2LT Hilstad was Killed in Action on May 12, 1944, in the crash of his P-51 #43-6634 after being shot down by enemy fighters. He is buried now in the Kenyon Cemetery, Kenyon, Goodhue County, Minnesota, USA.
From the book "Silent Heroes" by Manuel F. Van Eyck:
Statement by Capt. Maurice F. Baker:
"I was the last person to see 2nd Lt. Roger A. Hilstad, 362nd FS, 357th FG. I last saw him about 23 miles north of Wurzburg, Czechoslovakia, at 1245 hours on 12 May 1944.
I was leading Dollar Squadron when, just after rendezvous, the front box of bombers was hit by ME-109s. Hilstad, my wingman, and I went down after a formation of four of them. He was right behind me on my wing during the ensuing fight on the deck. I saw a ME-109 shoot at him, but he rolled out of the way away when I called for him to break. Apparently, he had not been hit. Then I went after the ME-109 which had shot at my wingman and knocked him down. After this, I looked around and didn't see Lt. Hilstad. I flew around, trying to find him and contact him by radio with no results."
Source of information: www.findagrave.com
Source of photo: www.americanairmuseum.com