U.S. Air Force
414th U.S. Army Air Force-VII Fighter Command
Colonel JackTyndall was raised in Berlin, MD. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June of 1942. He was originally trained for aircraft engine maintenance but signed up for pilot training in 1943. He was trained as a fighter pilot flying Curtiss P-40 War Hawks in Georgia.
In 1944 his squadron was shipped to the South Pacific Theater. The squadron was equipped with Republic P-47D Thunderbolt single engine fighter planes. Their missions included escorting bomber formations and strafing enemy island installations as well as supporting ground troops in the island campaigns of the southwest Pacific.
Later the squadron was equipped with the newer VeryLongRange P-47N Thunderbolt which could fly fighter strikes from Iwo Jima to the Japanese mainland. In order to accomplish this they had to be escorted by a single especially equipped “pathfinder” B-29 bomber to guide them. Pilots who did not rendezvous at the designated time with the bomber for the long flight back to the tiny island often lost their way and ran out of fuel. Several planes and pilots were lost this way. When they began flying from Okinawa, navigation and fuel was not a problem.
The most humorous incident he ever had was having to turn back from a mission because there was a huge tropical “tarantula like” spider in his cockpit and he could not get at it without landing. His worst memory of World War II was losing his wing man while on a fighter strike. His best memory was when the Japanese envoy group passed through their base on their way to the Philippine Islands in a Japanese “Betty” bomber (escorted by American fighter planes,) to arrange surrender terms that would later be documented by ceremony in Tokyo Bay.
His squadron had the honor of flying security patrol over the American battleship, U.S.S. Missouri while the surrender ceremony was taking place.
Soon afterwards his squadron was ordered back to the Philippines. The war weary planes were purposely demolished at Clark Air Base and the squadron was deactivated. His 1946 picture as an Army Air Force Captain shows a Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters as well as three campaign battle stars with other ribbons. He retired in 1968 after serving overseas in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Okinawa, and Vietnam. In an interview with his sister, Mrs.MildredVillani, in 1995, he asked in the interview to include: “Work out your problems, so any future generations will not have to go to war ever again.”
Edited and researched by GeorgeM.Hurley