The History of Tyndall
In December 1940, a site board determined that Flexible Gunnery School No. 9 would be located 12 miles southeast of Panama City, Florida on East Peninsula. On May 6, 1941, Army and local dignitaries held an official ground breaking for the school. Panama City's mayor, Harry Fannin, dug the first spade full of sand, and Colonel Warren Maxwell, Tyndall's first commander, wielded the first ax on the stubborn palmetto plants, so common on the East Peninsula. The site was covered with pine and palmetto trees, scrub brush, and swamps. Bulldozers worked around the clock to clear the brush and fill in swamps.
Although construction was well underway, the base lacked a name. Congressman Bob Sikes suggested naming the school in memory of Lieutenant Francis B. Tyndall. A native of Sewall Point, Florida. Lieutenant Tyndall was a fighter pilot during World War I and was credited with shooting down four German planes well behind enemy lines in 1918. While inspecting Army fields near Mooresville, North Carolina on July 15, 1930, Tyndall's plane crashed, killing him instantly. On June 13, 1941, the War Department officially named the new installation Tyndall Field.
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