PASSINGS: John R. Alison, Genaro 'Chicanito' Hernandez, Stephen E. Fleischman
John R. Alison

Decorated WWII ace fighter pilot

John R. Alison, 98, a World War II fighter pilot who helped lead a daring and unprecedented Allied air invasion of Burma, died of natural causes Monday at his home in Washington, D.C., his family said.

Alison was a retired Air Force major general and a former Northrop Corp. executive. His wartime achievements included six aerial victories, qualifying him as an ace, according to the Air Force Assn., an independent organization in Arlington, Va., that promotes public understanding of aerospace power.

Alison was chosen in 1943 by Army Air Forces commander Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold for a top-secret mission that flew more than 9,000 troops, nearly 1,300 mules and 250 tons of supplies behind enemy lines in Burma over six days, according to a November 2009 article in the association's Air Force Magazine.

As deputy commander of the mission dubbed Operation Thursday, Alison piloted the first in a group of Waco CG-4A glider planes that were towed by C-47 transports and released to make risky jungle landings.

Alison was born Nov. 21, 1912, in Micanopy, Fla., and graduated from the University of Florida.

His military decorations included the Army Distinguished Service Cross.

Genaro 'Chicanito' Hernandez

Two-time world super-featherweight champion

Genaro "Chicanito" Hernandez, 45, who ascended through the Southern California boxing ranks to become a two-time world super-featherweight champion, died Tuesday after more than two years battling cancer, boxing publicist Bill Caplan said.

Hernandez had a 38-2-1 record with 17 knockouts in a career that stretched from 1984 to 1998 and included victories over Azumah Nelson, Carlos Hernandez and Jorge Paez. His only losses were to Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Hernandez had spent recent years as a TV boxing analyst.

A Los Angeles native, Hernandez lived in Mission Viejo. He and his wife, Liliana, had a son and a daughter.

Stephen E. Fleischman, a documentary writer, producer and director for CBS and ABC news who was married 63 years to film editor Dede Allen, died Sunday of natural causes at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, his family announced. He was 92.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports

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