Warrior General: Clarence Tinker (1887-1942)
One-eighth Osage and the first U.S. Major or Lieutenant General with Native ancestry. His Army and Army Air Forces career spanned nearly 40 years, from Asia to America. After the Pearl Harbor attack plunged America into the war, he commanded both the Hawaiian Department and the newly created Seventh Air Force based there.
According to historian Jon May, “As German armies rolled across Europe, Tinker cautioned against Japanese aggression in the Pacific. The plans he devised to protect the Panama Canal and Caribbean region became important wartime strategy.”
In June 1942, he personally commanded a bomber attack against the Japanese during the pivotal American victory at Midway. His B-24 Liberator went down on the mission and he became the first U.S. general to die in the war. He won the Distinguished Service Medal and numerous other decorations.
A few months later, the Army Air Corps changed the name of the Oklahoma City Air Depot to Tinker Army Air Field in his honor. It became the world’s largest air base.
The above article is a bonus to the fascinating historical content found within our book
Oklahomans Vol 2 :
Statehood - 2020s
which can be purchased HERE.
View the inspiring 2-minute preview video HERE.