Jack W. Mathis served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Mathis entered the Army in 1940 as an artilleryman but transferred into the Air Corps after his brother, Mark, enlisted. Both completed their cadet training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX. Mathis completed advanced aviation school in California. He served overseas as a bombardier. In March, 1943, Mathis led a mission over Germany. His plane was hit before he could drop the lead bombs. The hit severely wounded Mathis, striking his right side. Despite the mortal wound, Mathis returned to his post, dropped the lead bombs, and ensured the success of his mission. Mathis died before the plane landed on base. The U.S. Military awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions. After the war, his friend, Jim Clark, named his son (pictured at the right in the image above) in Jack’s honor. The San Angelo Municipal Airport bears the name Mathis Field in honor of Jack and Mark, who was also killed in action.

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