Tinker, Clarence Leonard, Sr., Maj Gen

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1060-Bombardment Unit Commander
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1942, AAF MOS 1060, 7th Air Force
Service Years
1912 - 1942
Major General

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Tinker, Clarence Leonard, Sr., Maj Gen.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Pawhuska, Oklahoma
Last Address
Hickam Field, Oahu, T.H.

Casualty Date
Jun 05, 1942
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Midway Islands
World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2013, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Senior Pilot Badge
Observer Badge

 Unit Assignments
20th Pursuit Group17th Pursuit Squadron, Interceptor7th Bombardment Group27th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
29th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy7th Air Force
  1930-1932, AAF MOS 1065, 20th Pursuit Group
  1932-1934, AAF MOS 1060, 17th Pursuit Squadron, Interceptor
  1934-1938, 7th Bombardment Group
  1940-1940, 27th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1940-1941, 29th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1060, 7th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
 Colleges Attended 
Wentworth Military Academy and Junior CollegeCommand and General Staff College
  1905-1908, Wentworth Military Academy and Junior College
  1924-1925, Air Corps Tactical School
  1925-1926, Command and General Staff College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
Boeing P-12  B-10 Martin Bomber  B-12 Bomber  B-18 Bolo  
B-17 Flying Fortress  B-26 Marauder  B-24 Liberator  
  1930-1932, Boeing P-12
  1936-1938, B-10 Martin Bomber
  1936-1938, B-12 Bomber
  1940-1940, B-18 Bolo
  1940-2003, B-17 Flying Fortress
  1940-2003, B-26 Marauder
  1942-1942, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Clarence Leonard Tinker was the first American Indian in U.S. Army history to attain the rank of major general. In 1912, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. After infantry training, Tinker joined the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division at Fort George Wright in Spokane, Washington. In January of 1913, the Twenty-fifth transferred to Hawaii.

During World War I, Tinker served in the southwestern United States and California, rising in rank to major. In 1919, Tinker began flying lessons and soon transferred to the Air Corps. Tinker's aviation career began when he was assigned to flight duty on July 1, 1922. For the next twenty years, Tinker was stationed primarily at air installations in the southeastern United States. He continued climbing in rank, becoming a brigadier general on October 1, 1940. At that time Tinker was in charge of MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida. 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.

Tinker took command of the Hawaiian Department following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Major General Tinker was placed in command of the newly formed 7th Air Force at Hickham Field in 1942. A proponent of aggressive bombing tactics, he led a group of LB-30 (B-24) bombers on a raid on Wake and was killed shortly after taking off from Midway Island. He was the first general killed in WWII. His body was never recovered.

General Tinker had a long and distinguished military career as an aviator and military leader. He was present with some of the most outstanding aviation leaders of WWII: Hap Arnold, Carl Spaatz among others. Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma is named in his honor.

(adapted from http://www.gerlecreek.com/documents/tinker.htm)

Army Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded posthumously for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal (Posthumously) to Major General Clarence L. Tinker, United States Army Air Forces, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States. Assuming command of the HAWAAIAN Air Force, and all Army Air Forces troops in the Hawaiian Department, on 18 December 1941, his wide knowledge of Army Air Forces tactics and his inspiring leadership brought those organizations to the highest standards of training.

In the early part of June 1942, he anticipated an attempted Japanese raid on Midway Island and prepared a heavy bombardment task force to participate in the repulse of that raid and the ultimate marked defeat of the Japanese attacking forces. In the final phase of this battle he personally took command of a flight on an attack mission of extremely dangerous nature, and in the highest traditions of the Service elected to execute the mission rather than detail it to a subordinate.

This gallant officer and his entire crew, all of whom volunteered to participate in the mission with full knowledge of the nature thereof, were lost at sea.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 2 (1928)
Action Date: December 18, 1941 - June 7, 1942
Service: Army Air Forces
Rank: Major General
Tinker AFB:

The general's assignments are not totally reflected on the other page. See full documentation at the following site: http://www.tinker.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100629-060.pdf

Text: James L. Crowder, Osage General: Major General Clarence L. Tinker

Soldier's Medal

Awarded for actions during Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Soldier's Medal to Major (Air Corps) Clarence L. Tinker, United States Army Air Corps, for heroism, not involving actual conflict with an enemy, displayed while serving as Assistant Attache for Aviation, London, England, on 21 September 1926 in rescuing Commander Robert A Burg, United States Navy, from a burning aeroplane near Kenley Aerodrome, London, England.

Although injured and in a semi-dazed condition due to the crash, Major Tinker was able to get clear of his burning plane, but when he realized that Commander Burg was still in the cockpit, he rushed back into the flames in an attempt to rescue his passenger. He was driven back by the intense heat, but returned to the other side, and after repeated and determined efforts, being badly burned in the attempt, he extricated Commander Burg and dragged him, unconscious to a place of safety.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 2 (1928)
Action Date: 21-Sep-26
Service: Army Air Corps
Rank: Major
Company: Assistant Attache for Aviation
Division: London, England
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