Arthur Mathew Mimler obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Arthur Mathew Mimler

April 21, 1923 - January 31, 2011

Obituary


Lt. Col. Arthur M. Mimler

Lt. Col. (retired) Arthur Mathew Mimler, a decorated WWII fighter pilot, POW, career USAF officer and rancher, passed away on January 31, 2011, at Mercy Medical Center in Merced. He was 87.

Born on April 21, 1923 in Bargaintown, New Jersey to immigrants Frank & Anna Mimler, Col. Mimler was en route to a career as a New Jersey State Trooper when World War II broke out and he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941. After basic training at Mitchell Field in Long Island,...

Lt. Col. Arthur M. Mimler

Lt. Col. (retired) Arthur Mathew Mimler, a decorated WWII fighter pilot, POW, career USAF officer and rancher, passed away on January 31, 2011, at Mercy Medical Center in Merced. He was 87.

Born on April 21, 1923 in Bargaintown, New Jersey to immigrants Frank & Anna Mimler, Col. Mimler was en route to a career as a New Jersey State Trooper when World War II broke out and he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941. After basic training at Mitchell Field in Long Island, New York, he received aircraft maintenance training at the New England Aircraft School in Boston, Massachusetts before being transferred to Grenier Field in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1943 he began his pilot training at Memphis Field in Memphis, Tennessee and completed his advanced pilot training at Grenier Field in May of 1943. He left New York Harbor in January 1944, traveling on the Queen Elizabeth to England where he joined forces with the Royal Air Force. As part of the 363rd Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force, he flew combat missions from Rivenhall Field in Essex and Staplehurst Field in Kent, including three combat missions on D-Day, across the English Channel. While flying his P51D Mustang , Col. Mimler was shot down during his 43rd combat mission over Bazougers, France in June 1944, leaving him to escape by parachute. He hid in the French countryside with the help of local townspeople who also buried his plane and hid evidence of his crash. He was captured by the Nazi regime and forced to walk across Germany to avoid the allies and sent to thirteen different prison camps, among them the infamous Stalag Luft No. 3 in Poland. He was a prisoner of war for eleven months and after attempting several times to escape, was finally released in May 1945 when the allies liberated his camp in Mooseburg, Germany. Col. Mimler returned to Bazougers, France in 1997 where he was honored by the families of those who aided him following his plane crash in 1944.

Following World War II, Col. Mimler married Thena Knight in June 1946 in Manchester, New Hampshire. They then moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where he was stationed at Ellendorf AFB, then to McGuire AFB in Wrightstown, New Jersey. In 1955, Col. Mimler was called to active duty and served in Korea as a flight training officer. After the Korean War ended, he was stationed at Ethan Allen AFB in Burlington, Vermont before being transferred to Madrid, Spain in 1960 as the aircraft maintenance training officer and advisor to the Spanish Air Force. He was stationed at Castle AFB in Atwater in 1963 where he served as the Chief of Maintenance before he was sent to Caracas, Venezuela in 1965 where he was the Commander of the Venezuelan Air Force as part of an international effort to reorganize the FAV (Fuerza Aerea Venezolana). Col. Mimler retired from the United States Air Force in 1969. Among his many honors, medals, awards and certificates, Col. Mimler received the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.

After his retirement, Col. Mimler moved to his ranch in Catheys Valley and raised horses, cattle, and sheep. He devoted himself to his community as a founding member of the Catheys Valley Volunteer Fire Department and manager of the Catheys Valley Cemetery. He was a member of the VFW Post #6049, American Legion Post #0567, the Mariposa County Farm Bureau, and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He was a director of the Castle Air Museum and the Mariposa Airport and served for 45 years as a representative from Mariposa County on the Area Board VIII for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Col. Mimler was preceded in death by his parents: Frank & Anna Mimler; brother, Herbert Mimler; and sisters Margaret Speyrer, Amelia LaCroix, and Helen Bartley.

He is survived by his wife, Thena, of Catheys Valley; his daughter and her husband, Cathi & Mitch Boze of Catheys Valley; daughter, Karen Mimler of Fresno; and granddaughter, Tanya Mimler Parker of Catheys Valley.

The memorial service will be held on February 10, 2011 at 11:00 am at the Catheys Valley Cemetery Pavilion in Catheys Valley.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Stratford Evans Funeral Home of Merced.

As Col. Mimler was thankful for the aid that the Red Cross had given him as a POW during WWII, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, any donations in his name be made to the American Red Cross.

Arrangements under the direction of Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home, Merced, CA.