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DeWitt Cemetery

Frank Glasgow Tinker (July 14, 1909-June 13, 1939) is interred here.  Tinker, an American mercenary fighter pilot for the Spanish Republican Air Force, was top American ace during the Spanish Civil War, with eight confirmed kills and 11 more probable.  Known as “Salty,” he grew up in DeWitt and joined the U. S. Navy in 1926 hoping to become a naval aviator.  He graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1933, but was later dismissed from the Navy due to problems with alcohol and brawling.  Tinker offered his services during the Spanish Civil War, reportedly because of his aversion to the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini who was helping the Spanish Nationalists.   As a flyer of fortune, he befriended Ernest Hemingway, who used Tinker as the model for one of the American pilots in his short story, “Night Before Battle.”  Suffering from combat stress, Tinker returned to the U. S. on July 29, 1937 and wrote a book based on his experiences, Some Still Live.  Shortly after its publication, he committed suicide in a Little Rock hotel.  Reasons for his death are still controversial and may relate to the harsh treatment he received from the FBI, due to his support for the Spanish Republican cause. 

The DeWitt Cemetery also is the burial place for Sgt. Gilbert G. Collier (Dec. 30, 1930-July 22, 1953), Korean War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Sergeant (Pointman/Assistant Squad Leader) in the United States Army in Company F, 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for action at Tutayon, Korea on July 19 and 20, 1953, and was killed in action. 

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1123 South Monroe Street, DeWitt, Arkansas