Robert Tyndall

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Robert Tyndall
Robert Tyndall.jpg
Robert Tyndall
34th Mayor of Indianapolis
In office
1943–1947
Preceded by Reginald H. Sullivan
Succeeded by George L. Denny
Personal details
Born 1877
Indianapolis, Indiana
Died 1947
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Republican
Military service
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit 38th Infantry Division
Commands 150th Field Artillery Regiment, 38th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Spanish-American War, Mexican Border Campaign, World War I, World War II

Robert Henry Tyndall (1877–1947) was a United States artillery officer in World War I, a Major General, and mayor of Indianapolis during World War II.

Early career[edit]

Robert Tyndall was born in Indianapolis, the son of William Eddy and Alice (Boyd) Tyndall.[1]

In 1897, Tyndall enlisted in Battery A of the Indiana National Guard. The Spanish-American War erupted the following year, and he served with the 27th Indiana Volunteers in Puerto Rico.[2]

Following the war, Tyndall engaged in a number of business ventures. In 1908, he married Dean Spellman, a daughter of Samuel and Emma Spellman of Indianapolis. The couple had three children. During 1915 and 1916, he served as president of the Indiana Society Sons of the American Revolution.[3] In 1916 he sold out to his business partner and rejoined the military.[1]

World War I[edit]

Tyndall served as a Major in command of a Battalion of the Indiana Field Artillery, which was at service on the Mexican border when the United States declared war on Germany in 1917.[4] As the United States mobilized for World War I, the Indiana Field Artillery became federalized as the 150th Field Artillery Regiment, and assigned to the 42nd Infantry "Rainbow" Division, which participated in several major battles in 1918. Tyndall was promoted to Colonel in command of the entire regiment, which was issued French 155 millimeter cannons. The men referred to him simply as "Bob," and generally admired him as an officer who started as a private and worked his way up through the ranks.[5]

Colonel Tyndall was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Croix de guerre, and Légion d'honneur.[1] He served in the army of occupation in Germany until 1919, where he suffered from a severe case of the flu.[6] After recovering, Col. Tyndall rejoined the 150th and returned to the United States, where he was honorably discharged from active service in May 1919.

Tyndall returned to business, and served as Vice-President of the Fletcher American Bank from 1919 to 1925. During those same years, he was national treasurer of the American Legion, and worked to establish the organization in Indianapolis.[2] He would continue to work with several businesses in the following years.

Major General Tyndall[edit]

Tyndall continued to serve as a colonel in the Field Artillery Officer's Reserve Corps. In 1923, was put in command of the 38th Infantry "Cyclone" Division,[7] and he was promoted to Major General on 29 October 1924.[2] In 1941, Tyndall mobilized the 50,000 troops of the 38th Division at Camp Shelby, but was forced to retire when he turned sixty-four.[1]

Mayor Tyndall[edit]

Robert Tyndall, Republican, was elected Mayor of Indianapolis in 1942, and served until his death in 1947, at age 70. His term is remembered for long-term planning to achieve grade separation, smoke abatement, revamping of the city's sewer and sanitation systems, and non-partisan administration of City Hospital.[1] He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.[8]

Tyndall Armory, in downtown Indianapolis, is named in honor of Robert Tyndall.[9] The armory was the headquarters for the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from 1969–2011, when it moved to a new facility at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Robert H. Tyndall Collection 1916–1943, Indiana Historical Society
  2. ^ a b c File:Robert Tyndall bio.jpg Robert H. Tyndall biography on display at Tyndall Armory, Indianapolis.
  3. ^ Indiana Society Officers, Sons of the American Revolution Website accessed 22 November 2008.
  4. ^ "In Memory of the 150th Field Artillery, United States Army." This document can be found at the Indiana Historical Society Library, Collection M280, Robert H. Tyndall, "150th Field Artillery – History", Box 1, Folder 3.
  5. ^ Sherwood, Elmer W.; Ferrell, Robert H. (ed.) (2004). A Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press. pp. 13,147. ISBN 0-87195-173-8. 
  6. ^ Sherwood and Ferrell p. 180–81.
  7. ^ 38th Division History
  8. ^ Crown Hill Cemetery Burial Locator – Robert H. Tyndall was buried 12 July 1947 in Section 36, Lot 162
  9. ^ a b Staggs, Brad (10 March 2011). "76th IBCT prepares to move to Lawrence". Indiana Guardsman. Retrieved 10 March 2011.  The 76th IBCT was based out of Tyndall Armory from 1969–2011.
  10. ^ "Indiana National Guard and Army community gather to break ground". Indiana Guardsman 5 (3): 6. September 2009.  The 76th IBCT will be moving to a new location on the former grounds of Fort Benjamin Harrison, but the Tyndall Armory will still be used by the Indiana National Guard.
Preceded by
Reginald H. Sullivan
Mayor of Indianapolis
1943–1947
Succeeded by
George L. Denny