Clyde Ginder

This message bears the sad news of the loss of a fine man and a good friend of mine, Clyde Ginder. He was a corporal in the 17th Troop Carrier Squadron and served as radio operator on a C-47 which survived an attack by Japanese zeros on April 25, 1944, in the Imphal province of India.
I have known Clyde all of my life, and you could not find a better man. There are probably only a few men remaining, if any, from the 64th Troop Carrier Squadron who would remember Clyde. He was a modest and quiet man, and I don't suppose he carved a wide swath in the annals of the squadron. However, in his home community, he will be long remembered as a man of quiet wisdom and steady faith. Below is his obituary, and attached is an essay written by a local high school student a few years back. I believe you'll agree that he was a man of whom the squadron, community and nation could be proud. I and countless others will miss him. 

Molly Daniel, friend of Clyde
Charleston, IL 



Clyde D. Ginder


Clyde D. Ginder, 91, of Arenzville, IL, died Sunday morning, September 30, 2007 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. He was born May 17, 1916 near Arenzville the son of John C. and Clara Goodpasture Ginder. He married Helen Petefish on December 31, 1944 in Concord and she preceded him in death on May 31, 1990. He is survived by two sons, Roger (wife, Rochelle) Ginder of Ames, IA and Gordon (wife, Georgianne) Ginder of Midlothian, VA; one daughter Joyce (husband, Terry) Schupp of Washington; 6 grandchildren, Derek (fiance, Leslie Hanft) Ginder, Nathaniel Ginder, Paul Ginder, Anne Ginder, Natalie (husband, Landon) Carr and Nicole Schupp; two brothers, Alvin Ginder of rural Jacksonville and Dale (wife, Linda) Ginder of Literberry and 3 sisters, Helen (husband, Leo) Finn of Chandlerville, Mildred Lewis of Murrayville and Marie (husband, Richard) Hembrough of Winchester.

He was preceded in death by 4 brothers, Ralph Ginder, Paul Ginder, Wayne Ginder and Lloyd Ginder and two sisters, Blanche Henderson and Ruth Reichert. Mr. Ginder was a grain and livestock farmer in the Arenzville area his entire life. He was a decorated war veteran having served in the United States Army Air Corp during World War II. He was a member of the Arenzville United Methodist Church and the Arenzville American Legion. He served on the Triopia PTA and Band Boosters and took leadership roles with the Arenzille Burgoo Committee for many years. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at Williamson Funeral Home with burial at Arcadia Cemetery. Friends may call after 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home with the family to meet friends from 4-7. Memorials are suggested to the Arenzville United Methodist Church.



Remembering Clyde


There’s a white haired man who sits in front of me at church.  He moves slowly and his back is bent, but he always has a smile and a handshake.  His name is Clyde Ginder and he just celebrated his 87th birthday. As he sits quietly in church you would never guess that he was a young radioman on a C-47 transport plane in WWII, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. 


Clyde was the radioman aboard one of seven C-47’s that were flying supplies to the British in India in April of 1944.  Somewhere over Burma, the group was attacked by Japanese fighters.  Clyde picked up a radio message, “Bandits!  Bandits!  Bandits!”  He yelled to the pilot, who shoved the plane into a deep dive and one fighter sheared off a chunk of the tail.  Then the “zero” crashed into the mountains and the other fighter fled. After evasive techniques, which took the strength of both pilots, they landed the C-47 and made repairs. They later learned that 20 fighter planes attacked their group of seven C-47s. They were the only crew to land safely.


What’s really extraordinary is that the C-47 is an unarmed transport plane.  Unable to even defend itself with weapons, Cpl. Ginder’s plane was credited with the destruction of the Japanese fighter in combat.


Young Cpl. Ginder returned to the Arenzville area to farm and raise his family. He has been an outstanding member of the community and a respected elder.  Clyde taught his kids how to be decent, successful people.  Clyde is still a great role model to us younger kids. You can always go down to the County Line and get a good story from him.   What’s amazing is that he seldom talks about himself.  He isn’t the type of person who “blows his own horn” and would never tell this story himself. 


I doubt most kids my age think much about the sacrifices others have made for us.  It’s men like Clyde who answered his country’s call to war against facism and made it possible for both of us to sit safely in church on Sunday.  Because he, and others like him from other wars put their lives on hold, kids my age can make plans for college and enjoy our lives in relative peace and freedom.  His handshake may be a bit weaker and his eyes clouded with cataracts, but, to me, Clyde Ginder is a real American hero. 



Aaron Joseph Charlesworth