Frank O'Driscoll "Monk" Hunter was born in Savannah, Georgia. Schooled in Switzerland and at Hotchkiss, he was one of 78 Americans who formed the United States Signal Reserve aviation section in World War I. Commissioned a first lieutenant, Hunter was dispatched to Europe to support French air fighters. He flew with Eddie Rickenbacker's 94th Aero Squadron and the 103rd Aero Squadron, known as the LaFayete Escadrille prior to American's entry into the war. Hunter became an Ace, credited with eight enemy aircraft. After the war, he helped develop pursuit and fighter aircraft, flying virtually every Army Air Corps plane. During World War II, Hunter served in France and England. Promoted to Brigadier General in 1942, he headed the Eighth Air Force Fighter Command in England and was instrumental in early introduction of the P-47 and P-51 fighters into the European theater. Promoted to Major General in 1943, he took command of the First Air Force, with headquarters at Mitchell Field, New York.
His decorations and awards included the Distinguished Service Cross with four oak leaf clusters, five citations for extraordinary heroism, the Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre with palms for bravery, the Legion of Merit, Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. He was Founder Member of the Order of Daedalians. In 1940, Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, was named for him, the only instance of a military installation named for a living person. Retired in 1946, he died in 1982 in Savannah.
Major General Hunter, Georgia's only World War I Ace, was enshrined August 26, 1989, for his contributions to aviation and his service in two world wars.