JOHN R. TUCKER (1922-1991)
(CNAC March or April 1945 - 1946?)
(Captain - ???)
In the 1943-45 log book of Don McBride, John listed his address as:
JOHN R. TUCKER
1100 PINE ST.
August 25, 2001
John Tucker's son has been contacted, John Tucker, Jr. Hopefully he will be able to add much more to his Dad's page. Stay tuned...
August 26, 2001
From Jim Dalby
"John Tucker got out there (China) March or April of 1945 and didn't stay very long. He was one of the early pilots with PSA and retired from them. He died here in San Diego several years ago.
October 4, 2002
I saw your mail in a PSA column about Capt. John R Tucker. I was a PSA pilot from 1960-1988, then US Airways until 1994. I retired from US Air and went to EVA Air (Taiwan) as a pilot until 2000. I am now a FAA inspector in Seattle. I flew with John many times as a co-pilot and knew him very well until he suddenly left PSA about 1964. He went on to be a instructor with Air Cal and then I lost track of him. He died July 27, 1991 at 69 years of age. I heard him talk many times about the hump and the aircraft, I think C-47 and C-46. I also saw him do a few airshows in his Starduster (Here is the Starduster web site). He was a great pilot and very good at aerobatics. He was definately from the old school of pilots that are long gone. I am coming on 65 now and just doing inspections and desk work. I remember the good times with PSA and flying F/O for John.
Bill Jolly firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's more from Bill...
October 7, 2002
Hi Tom Yes the site looks great. I just opened it. John Tucker was the only one I knew that flew the hump. I used to be a gas boy on the DC-2 owned by Mercer Airlines, based in Burbank and went every day to the track at Del Mar, back in 1954~55. I was working at Del Mar then at 16 years of age. The old airport at Del Mar closed to make room for I-5, it was a former Blimp base during WW-2, walking distance to the Del Mar track. Most of all the old movie stars where there, like Betty Grable, Harry James, Lou Costello, George Raft. I met them all, Lou Costello was the most frequent. I learned to fly there also.
October 5, 2002
John was Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations for Air California from 1967 till About 1987. Something happened at PSA and he came to Air California.
He lost his medical (Heart Attack) around 1973 but remained Director of Operations till 1977. He had a heart bypass in 1977 but came back as our Ops Engineer till he retired about the time American bought AirCal (1987).
John hired me as a 737 copilot in 1972 so I will always remember him.
Capt. Tom McBroom email@example.com
March 3, 2003
I have been contacted by John Tucker's nephew, Terry Tucker, with the following information and photos. Thank you Terry.
Also, from Terry, "You have my permission to post to John's CNAC page any of the photos & info I've sent to you, with the caveat that I'm relying on memories of events 50 +/- years ago."
John Richard Tucker was my uncle. My father (George E.Tucker Jr ) was John's brother. John was the youngest pilot ever licensed in Iowa, a record which I believe still stands. I am now just short of 64 years old. Today I went on the internet to see if I could find, by chance, any info on John and found this site instantly. Reason being that I'm engaged in cataloging a photo history of our expanded families including in-laws and outlaws extending back to the mid 1800's.
John R. Tucker
Approximate age 17-20? Maybe younger.
Albia, Iowa (South East of Des Moines)
Unfortunately we seem to have the least information on John...probably because aviation gave him the opportunity to "leave the nest" much earlier than most of his contemporaries. I have a photo of he and I sitting on the wing of his plane in Albia in 1942 or 43.
left to right
George Ellis Tucker (John's Dad), George Eugene Tucker and his son Terry, age 2
This may be John Tucker's plane
Albia, Iowa Airport - Spring 1943
John R. Tucker, age 21
with his nephew, Terry G. Tucker, age 4
One of my folks put the original of this in my childhood scrapbook.
So I assume the event occurred 1939-1942.
And photos with him when we visited his home in Sweetwater Texas in Feb of 1946...enroute to Calif after my dad came back from the war. I can't recall, but I think by that time (Feb of 46) John had completed his stint flying the hump, and had left the service.
John Tucker Sr. at his home in Brownsville Texas, with George Tucker Sr, John's father.
After our family finally moved to Southern California in 1949, and John had moved to San Diego, we saw John and his family about twice a year.
John was bigger than life. So bright, strong, confident, charming.
While my family lived in Garden Grove, and I went to UC Berkeley in my Junior/Senior years (with a nickel in my levi's), I was able to fly PSA (for a dollar or something like that) each flight I took - probably 3 or four a year. And on at least a few occasions, in the cockpit. It was a godsend...and John was god.
Look in square "P" for PSA Captain John R. Tucker.
After Cal I spent 33 years in the Military. I think I saw John a couple of times during that period...wish it could have been more. I've lost track completely of John Jr and siblings. My folks moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas in 1990 and my wife and I did likewise in 1992. In April & June of 2001, my mom and dad passed away. She spent half a lifetime devoted to genealogy, and eventually I hope to translate yards and yards of her files to something that will be of value to our future families.
I lost track of John Jr, and would appreciate it if you would give this information to him. It would be nice if we could correspond.
Terry George Tucker
90 Lake Lane
Mountain Home, AR 72653
October 24, 2003
I was not sure whether you had this Readers Digest article or not. It was the basis for Paul Harvey's story in 1992.
August 1, 2003
Hi, I am writing to you about my uncle John. Terry called me this evening and led me to your website. Terry has all the info that the family has, and I am 7 years younger and much fewer memories. I do have an article from Readers Digest about John's last flight before his heart attack in July of 1991. The article was written by a gentleman named Warren W. Davis from Pacific Flyer Mag it think. My mom sent it to me just after John's death, and I have hung on to it all these years. John gave me my first ride in his Mooney 21 years ago, and I went on to fly some while I was in San Diego in 1967 onboard the HB Wilson DDG-7 at 32nd street. I flew out of Brown Field. There was a flight school run by a guy named Steve Bucholtz if my memory serves me correctly. Anyhow, I only racked up 50 some hours, and ran out of money. Never got back to it with the wife, kids, and all. My youngest son just completed a tour on the USS Kittyhawk as a F/A-18 Pilot with the Royal Maces. He is currently moving to San Diego to attend University of SD to get his degree. He came up thru the enlisted ranks on a Nuke Sub, and went on to get his wings via the "Seaman to Admiral" Program, and is currently a Lieutenant. LT Brandon J. Tucker. See attachment.
LT Brandon J. Tucker - 2003
Anyhow, I will send a copy of this article to you via the Post Office. You may be able to contact Warren W. Davis, according to the article he only lived a couple of miles from John in San Diego, and he was the last one to fly with John.
Richard J Tucker
PO Box 4290
Bedford, Wy 83112
Here's more from Richard Tucker
August 2, 2005
The picture that I sent you is of my son Brandon John Tucker, LT., USN, not me. Brandon is John's "Great Nephew". I have attached a couple more really great shots that Brandon sent me from over Japan last year. I will put the article that I talked to you about in the mail monday. Feel free to include whatever parts of my Email you like, and a link to my email address is fine.
Somewhere Over Japan
A few more thoughts:
I can remember visiting John, Barbara and my cousins several times when they lived in Santee, and later in LaMesa. Actually, John Jr., and Pat were very young at the time as was I, but I remember hearing many stories of the Barnstorming days across the midwest and Texas, and how Barbara was a very accomplished pilot in her own right. John was flying Electra's for PSA, and I can remember getting a cockpit tour, and how totally overwhelmed I was at the time. Many years later when I graduated from Navy Bootcamp in San Diego in the Fall of 1964, I visited with them for a couple of days before returning home, and I can remember spending time at Stardust Aviation, John's flight school that he and Barbara ran at Gillespie Field. He had an old Ryan there that he had restored that was just out of this world, and of course the StarDuster Bi-plane that he flew at all the shows. I can remember going back to visit a few of years later about the time that John Jr. was turning 16, and his dad was going to checkride him for his Private Ticket, and then give him checkrides in all the different fixed wing planes that he had at the school. The flight school had moved down to another area at Gillespie Field, where he had his own building and ramp area. A very beautiful setup.
Just as an unrelated sidenote, Brandons mothers maiden name is Moore, and Brandons uncle is Thomas Moore. That threw me for a second or two. Brandons grandfather Elvious E. (Skeet) Moore still lives just down 80 from you in Roseville. He retired from the Navy in the 50's, which probably had something to do with two of my sons being career Navy. My oldest son Thomas Tucker is a Navy Chief Petty Officer with VQ-3 out of Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK.
Anyway, It is a very wonderful thing that you are doing for these guys, and I will stay tuned to see how the various stories are added to and changed. I only wish I had more specific memories of John over the years, but I lost track for such a long time. But I don't think I ever met a man that lived a more vibrant and exciting life, nor anyone with a warmer or friendlier smile.
or would like to be added to the CNAC e-mail distribution list,
please let the CNAC Web Editor, Tom Moore, know.