Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

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Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

First Lieutenant John Thomas Fincher | Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame

First Lieutenant John Thomas Fincher

First Lieutenant Fincher, deceased, of Waldo earned four Air Medals as a B-17 Pilot during World War II. He was instrumental in preserving Arkansas World War II history through his volunteer work with the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

 

First Lieutenant John Thomas Fincher flew 30 combat missions as a B-17 bomber pilot with the 381st Bomb Group, 523rd Squadron during World War II.  On his second mission he had an engine shut out over the enemy target and could not stay in formation. The Luftwaffe sent planes up to try and shoot down his plane, but he managed to make it back to base, barely above tree-top level. As pilot of a B-17 he commanded the crew, led squadron and flight in combat, kept flight records, and supervised maintenance of his aircraft. Adverse weather conditions required extensive instrumental flying. 

After the war, Lieutenant Fincher returned home and pursued a degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas. Like so many who survived World War II, he went to work, married, attended church, and raised a family. Always unassuming, never expecting any kind of recognition or reward from his country that he so selflessly and heroically, he never expected to be in the Limelight. Lieutenant Fincher loved his country and considered it his duty and a privilege to serve the United States to the best of his ability.

in 2004 Lieutenant Fincher was chosen to be featured in the 90-minute documentary titled “ In Their Words: AETN’s World War II Oral History Project.”

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