Earl J. Uitendaal, 97, of Newbern, Tennessee died Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Humboldt, Tennessee.
He was retired as director of the Newbern Housing Authority and as a C-124 pilot in the Tenn. Air National Guard (164th MAG), retiring with the rank of Major. His duties in the Guard included making many supply flights into South Vietnam during the war. Earl also served as a 1st Lt. with the Army Air Corp in WW II, piloting 50 missions in a B-24 with the 464th Bomb Group (15th AF), flying out of Pantanella, Italy. There, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. The 464th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster for its actions against the marshalling yards near Vienna, Austria in July of 1944 and on the oil refinery near Pardubice, Czech. in August of 1944. Earl’s missions also included the Ploesti Oil Fields, and diversionary bombing for the D-Day invasion. Earl was also there when Rome was liberated in June of 1944. His most satisfying accomplishment was that all of his crew members returned safely to the United States. He was also an accomplished Tree Surgeon, Taxidermist, Horticulturist, Apiarist, and outdoorsman, Earl was a member of Newbern First United Methodist Church. Earl was born on Sept. 29th, 1920 in Mt. Kisco, NY and raised in New Canaan, Connecticut. After the war, he graduated from the University of Denver, where he was a member of the swim team and the track team.
Funeral services for Mr. Uitendaal will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at the Newbern First United Methodist Church. Officiating this service will be Dr. Mike Deal, Reverend Dr. David Comperry and Rev. Tommy Jowers. Interment will follow in Poplar Grove Cemetery in Newbern, Tennessee. Visitation for Mr. Uitendaal will be Sunday from 1:30 PM until 3:00 PM at the Newbern First United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his son, John (Donna) Uitendaal of Newbern, and 3 grandchildren; Edward Uitendaal, Amy Uitendaal, and Adam Uitendaal, all of Newbern.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Tigrett Uitendaal; his parents, Cornelius Gysbertes Uitendaal and Cecelia McSweeney Uitendaal, 2 sisters (Dorothy and Hellen), a brother (Hal), and his crew members: 2nd Lt. Wilbur A. Weaver (Bombardier), Flight Officer Melvin Shlentsky (Navigator), 2nd Lt. Thomas D. Stevens (Co-Pilot), Tech Sgt. Herbert F. Knaack (Radio Operator), Homer S. Adams (Engineer), Staff Sgt. Vincent D. Alianello (Gunner), Sgt. John E. White (Gunner), and Sgt. Fred E. Wilmot (Ball Turret Gunner); Brother, Harold: Sisters, Dorothy, and Hellen.
Pallbearers will be Adam Uitendaal, Edward Uitendaal, Kevin Steele, Stephen Agee, Steven Williams, Gary Austin, R. C. Owen and Parks Wells.
In lieu of flowers the family ask that memorials be directed to the Newbern First United Methodist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box # 72, Newbern, Tennessee 38059.
Johnson-Williams Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Earl J. Uitendaal.