By: E&P Staff Before his first career as a newspaper publisher and his next long career as a newspaper broker, Mel Hodell flew supplies into China during World War II as part of the round-the-clock, all-weather aerial supply runs.
Hodell logged more than 553 hours on the dangerous missions, flying without a navigation system and often without being able to see at all, Hodell told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif.
Now a grateful nation is recognizing Hodell's contributions. More than 60 years after the end of the war, Hodell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. U.S. Rep. David Dreier presented the medal in a ceremony Aug. 25.
Hodell, 88, owned the California community papers the Upland News, Cucamonga News and Montclair Tribune from 1958 to 1967, and then operated a newspaper brokerage. He retired in 2001.