Aliyah Bet & Machal Virtual Museum

North American Volunteers In Israel's War of Independence


Mitchell Flint, Machal Pilot, Dies at 94

Mitchell Flint was a Jewish-American Navy pilot in the Pacific Theater who answered the call to help build air support for the nascent State of Israel. He bravely flew Avia-199 fighters, which, as retrofitted German Messerschmitts, were extremely dangerous because of their poor construction. After he arrived in Israel, he flew more than 50 missions. When the Egyptian army gathered in the Falujah pocket, Flint and his squadron proved how vulnerable they were from his bombing missions.

Augustine L. (Duke) Labaczewski

Duke Labaczewski

Augustine L. (Duke) Labaczewski, 89, the cook aboard the American Aliyah Bet ship Tradewinds (later named “Hatikvah” – Hope), died in Williamstown, New Jersey, on June 29, 2017.   His daughter, Mrs. Theresa Forbes, said the cause of death was lung cancer, contracted during his 40-year career as a cook, able-bodied seaman and boatswain aboard American commercial ships. He was buried on July 5 in Manahath Cemetery, Glassboro, NJ, next to his wife, Myra. He is survived by his daughter, his son William Labaczewski, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.