Jimmie Mattern
Best of Friends - They Often Flew Long Distances to Visit Each Other

Photo Courtesy of Bill Kirchner

Biographical Notes
by email from Jack Mattern
     Received your E-mail requesting information on Jimmie. I'll help you all I can, although I only met Jimmie once, right after WWII. He was ferrying an airplane somewhere, and stopped in Omaha, Nebraska at Offutt Air Base for refueling and a rest.
     I was only about 6 or 7 at the time, but remember going out to the base with my dad to pick him up. We brought him to our home for dinner, where he related flying stories much to my delight and fascination. The tale of being forced down in Siberia, and his experiences was especially hair-raising.
     After we took him back out to the base, I asked my parents how he was related to us, and only got an evasive answer: "some kind of 'shirt-tail' relative." To this day I'm not sure how I'm related to him.
       He was always interested in long distance and high altitude flying. During the war, he worked for Lockheed on the P-38 Lightning project.New Army Air Corps pilots were having a terrible time learning to fly the twin engined fighter, and were killing themselves right and left. Jimmie would travel to the training bases to demonstrate the plane and instruct the fledgling pilots. (He evidently did a very good job with Dick Bong!)
     Jimmie died about 13 years ago in Palm Desert, California, and his wife, Dorothy, passed on just last month.
     I'm a member of the America Aviation Historical Society, here in Phoenix, and know retired Colonel Ole Griffith, who knew Jimmie personally I have corresponded with his niece, Shelby Scarborough in D.C.. She would have much more information about his fascinating life than I do.
Hope I've been a little help in your quest.
Jack Mattern
Mesa, Arizona

     If you search for "Jimmie Mattern", using the Google search engine, (7-30-06), you will find about 331 links! Perhaps the most helpful is the following. As time permits, you will be rewarded by sampling some of the others.
Guide to the James J. "Jimmie Mattern" Collection
     This pdf file on the website of the Special Collections Department, McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, offers a very comprehensive and detailed biography of his life and career. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

BackBack Home