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Col. Elmer "Newt" Tyndall

1918 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Col. Elmer "Newt" Tyndall Obituary
Col. Elmer (Newt) Tyndall

AGE: 98 • Georgetown

Col. Elmer Newton (Newt) Tyndall U.S. Air Force Retired of Georgetown, DE died peacefully at home on January 20, 2017 at the age of 98, surrounded by his loving family and devoted caregiver.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leroy B. and Lillie Sammons Tyndall; his brother, Leroy B. Tyndall Jr, and his son, John Franklin Hazzard. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Grace Baker Tyndall.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Thelma Townsend of Georgetown, DE and five daughters: Barbara Tyndall Seltmann, Hickory, NC; Sandra Tyndall Davis, Atlanta, GA; Nancy Johnson Tyndall, Memphis, TN; Susan Tyndall Strnad, Corralitos, CA; and Patricia Tyndall Owings, Hendersonville, NC; daughter-in-law, Carolyn Hazzard, Redmond, WA; sons-in-law James Seltmann, Mike Davis, and Marvin Owings; nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 19, 1918, and grew up on a family farm in Georgetown, DE in the midst of the Great Depression. He graduated from Georgetown High School in 1936, and then attended Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, PA. He worked on the family farm and at DuPont Nylon Plant in Seaford, DE until he applied for flight training before our country entered World War II. While on active duty in the Air Force, he earned an AB Degree from Sacramento State College in CA, and was later awarded an MBA from George Washington University.

His distinguished 30 year Air Force career spanned World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War during the Cuban Missile crisis. He was one of the first Master Navigators in the world (celestial and radar). During WWII, he was assigned to the 58th Bomb Wing, which was the first unit to take B-29s into the war against Japan. He flew 25 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, along with other citations. He witnessed the end of WWII on September 2, 1945 when his crew led a formation of B-29s over the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay during the surrender ceremony on its deck. He was very proud of his service to his country, which also included assignments at the Pentagon, the Strategic Air Command, and his final tour of duty as Commander of the Air Force ROTC at Clemson University.

After retiring from the Air Force, he worked at Clemson University as Assistant to the President, where he served for eight years until his final retirement. After retirement, he volunteered in the Commemorative Air Force and traveled throughout the country displaying the only remaining flying B29. In 2012, he was inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame.

Newt and Thelma lived in South Carolina for 40 years before returning to Georgetown, DE and re-establishing residence and membership in the Wesley United Methodist Church. His family, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always fondly remember the wonderful annual reunion trips he planned and made possible!

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Wesley United Methodist Church visitation will be held at 10:00 am, followed by a memorial service at 11:00.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Delaware Hospice at 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963 or Wesley United Methodist Church at 102 East Laurel St, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Arrangements handled by Short Funeral Services, Georgetown.
Published in The News Journal on Jan. 24, 2017
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