Part 1 - 2: Captain Thomas Francis Mantell, Jr.
Capt. Thomas F. Mantell Jr., was born in Franklin, Kentucky, 30 June 1922. He was a graduate of Male High School, in Louisville. On 16 June 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, graduating Flight School on 30 June 1943.
During World War II, Mantell was assigned to the 440th Troop Carrier Group, 96th Troop Carrier Squadron, 9th Air Force. He was awarded Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal w/3 GLCs for heroism. Following the war he returned to Louisville, joining the newly organized Kentucky Air National Guard, as Flight Leader, "C" Flight, 165th Fighter Squadron, Kentucky Air National Guard on 16 February 1947.:
Mantell (center) with buddies at Army Air Corps Flight School, 1942.
Mantell (front row, second from the right) with pilots of the 165th Fighter
Squadron, Kentucky Air National Guard. (Credit: Wendy Connors)
On Saturday, 29 September 2001, the Simpson County Historical Society unveiled a historical marker in honor of Thomas F. Mantell, Jr. The marker is located at the Franklin, Kentucky exit off Interstate 65, next to the office building of Simpson County Tourism.