Earl “Sleepy” Hissett


It is with great sadness that I am announcing the passing of another 417th NFS member, Earl “Sleepy” Hissett.  He died on Thursday, January 10th, 2019.  His funeral was held on January 12th.  He is survived by his lovely wife Jo.

Earl was a member of the original 417th squadron.  He was a mechanic and worked on the Beaufighter and P-61 engines.  Rumor has it that he lied about his age so that he could join the war at the tender age of 16.

Earl tells a bit of his story on this video from the 2007 417th NFS reunion in Reading PA.  Fittingly, he is standing in front of one of the P-61s that he worked on.  In this video you will also hear the story behind his nickname “Sleepy”.

As far as I am aware, Earl was the last living member of the 417th and while his passing means the end of an era, I will do my best to continue to honor his service and those of his colleagues thru this website.  Rest in Peace Sleepy.

6 thoughts on “Earl “Sleepy” Hissett”

  1. I am so very sorry to hear about his passing. Especially if he was the last living member of the 417th! I hope you can continue with the website or periodic emails. At least leave the website up so families of the deceased can add photos or other info?

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

    1. I plan to continue with the website. I brought a number of items, mostly photos, back with me from my Dad’s collection and plan to post them as I have time. And, of course, I always welcome any photos from family member who wish to see them posted.

      1. Thank you for sharing. He was a wonderful person and a loving grandpa.i will forever remember my grandpa Earl.

  2. I am so saddened to hear of Earl’s passing. My Dad, TSgt. Ellsworth “Towser” Snow, saved Christmas cards from his WWII buddies. One of those, which I still have, was from Earl. May he Rest In Peace.

  3. Thank you for the information – how sad to hear this news.

    I am so grateful for all your work on this website.

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