Memorial candle
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Mitchell Flint, an American aviator who helped form the Israeli Air Force in 1948, during the War of Independence, died on Saturday at the age of 94, The Associated Press reports.

Flint, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot who served in Israel’s first fighter squadron, died in Los Angeles of natural causes, said his son, Michael Flint.

Flint was one of the founding members of “Machal,” a group of non-Israelis who fought in the War of Independence. He was one of the original members of the Israeli Air Force’s first fighter squadron and helped train Israel’s first military pilots, his son said.

He and other members of the Machal had flown in German planes that were captured during World War II and covered the Nazi insignia with Stars of David.

Upon his return to the United States, Flint moved to Los Angeles and became a lawyer. He continued flying until last year, his son said, according to AP.

“He was a humble man who did what he did and never looked for glory,” Michael Flint said of his father. “He was proud of what he did until the very end.”