Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

John J. 'Jack' Jarvis Jr; Decorated Combat Pilot Flew Charles Lindbergh to Safety; Later Raised Money to Grow Country Day and Mary Institute Schools

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

John J. 'Jack' Jarvis Jr; Decorated Combat Pilot Flew Charles Lindbergh to Safety; Later Raised Money to Grow Country Day and Mary Institute Schools

Article excerpt

Jack Jarvis was a kid from south St. Louis who grew up to become a decorated combat pilot.

His hero was Charles Lindbergh, who had stunned the world in 1927 by crossing the Atlantic alone in his single-engine plane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

Their paths crossed in World War II when Lindbergh became a passenger in Capt. Jarvis' aircraft in the southwest Pacific. When Japanese fighters attacked, Capt. Jarvis was able to escape and fly to safety.

His actions won him the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of two that he earned.

John Jacob Jarvis Jr. died July 13, 2012, at the Missouri Veterans Home in north St. Louis County of congestive heart failure, his family said.

He was 93 and previously lived in Warson Woods.

The first time Mr. Jarvis saw Lindbergh was in February 1928. Young Jack had taken off school to watch Lindbergh fly over the riverfront.

"We got out of school and went to the riverfront with the huge crowd," Mr. Jarvis recalled in a 1999 interview with the Post- Dispatch. He watched Lindbergh fly beneath the Eads Bridge and "wiggle his wings."

The event spurred Mr. Jarvis to become a pilot.

He grew up on Lake Street, the only child of a court reporter and homemaker. Mr. Jarvis graduated from Cleveland High School and attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., for two years.

It was wartime and in June 1941 he left school to join the Navy. After 40 weeks in flight school, he emerged a second lieutenant and was soon on his way to the war in the Pacific.

He flew fighter planes and transport aircraft. In 1944, he met his hero, Lindbergh, on the island of Guadalcanal.

Lindbergh had famously opposed the United States entering World War II. Once the war started, he agreed to work as a civilian consultant. He became liaison between United Aircraft Corp., maker of the F4U Corsair, and Marines in the field.

Capt. Jarvis was ordered to fly Lindbergh on part of his tour of Marine squadrons. It was all hush-hush - no one, especially the enemy -was supposed to know that America's hero was in the battle area. …

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