Meet Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) Anthony Lindner. Anthony was born in Esslingen, Germany in 1947. His father, an American soldier who was part of the Normandy invasion, decided to stay in Germany after he was released from the military; he worked for one of the first Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES.) Unfortunately, his father passed away shortly after Anthony was born, and he went to live with his grandparents until the age of 11 when his mother remarried. They then came to the United States and moved to North Carolina. Anthony became a US citizen at the age of 18, after graduating high school.
Always looking for adventure, Anthony had dreams of being a Green Beret, so he decided to join the Army. After attending basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Ft. Gordon, GA, he went to jump school at Ft. Benning, GA. Once this was completed he applied for and was accepted to the Green Beret program. As a Green Beret, Anthony was a radio operator on an A Team. His first assignment was with the 8th Special Forces Group.
Anthony considers himself among the lucky because he was assigned to the Panama Canal Zone instead of the Vietnam. Seeking more excitement, as if being a Green Beret was not challenging enough, after reenlistment Anthony decided to earn his wings. He went to flight school at Ft. Wolters, TX, and finished his aviation training at Ft. Rucker, AL. He was now qualified to fly the TH55, TH13 and UH1 helicopters. His other assignments include Ft. Riley, KS; Ft. Sam Houston, TX; Germany; and Ft. Campbell, KY. He also completed a tour in the Republic of Vietnam.
Anthony’s most memorable experiences include night combat jumps in the jungles of Panama and flying medevac missions in the Republic of Vietnam. These were the most memorable because of the adventure and the opportunity to save lives in Vietnam.
After serving twenty years in the Army, Anthony retired in 1987 and began a second career as a commercial airline pilot. He flew as a pilot on an EMB120 Brazilia, a Delta Commuter for Atlantic Southeast Airlines and then as first officer in a Boeing 757 for Eastern Airlines. He then went on to have a third career as an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance for about 13 years. He finally retired for good in 2008.
Anthony is a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) Chapter 511, and he is also active in the North Alabama Helicopter Pilots Association (NAHPA.) As part of the NAHPA, he strives to meet the mission of the organization to enhance and accredit the cohesiveness, esprit de corps, and traditions of valor of rotary wing aircrews that flew in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era.
Anthony has 3 children – two sons, Mario and Jacob, and a daughter, Sue. He enjoys volunteering at the museum because of the camaraderie between the veterans.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum