Clarence L. Thacker

Clarence L. Thacker was raised in Kissimmee, Florida. His character was often described as having strong family values, love for the culture of the south and love for his country. He was known for his successes while flying in the Army Air Corps during WWII and his bravery.

Thacker completed only one semester of Law School at the University of Florida when he left school to join the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941. There was training done at the airfield and an unfortunate number of lives lost due to training in an environment that lacked stimulated resistance, had frequent clouds, and involved low altitudes.

The men and women of the Army Air Corps were the only American fighting force over Nazi incorporated territory in Europe until May of 1944. Thacker was a part of the 384th Bomb group that had the first bombing mission over Nazi Occupied territory. Thacker famously piloted over 50 missions in the B-17 flying Fortress that was known as the Kissy-Me Kowboy. He was also one of the last pilots to fly a heavy bomber against enemies as he piloted a B-17 over Berlin at the end of the war.

Thacker had a strong desire to be able to fight the battles necessary to keep his home safe. Flying the Kissy-Me Kowboy in occupied territory represented his courage and love for his hometown.

In 1943, Thacker was awarded the Silver Star from the Air Corps for his actions during WWII.

Photo of 384 Bomb Group, Aril 10th 1945. Major Clarence L. Thacker posed on bottom, far right.