James M. Tuchel served as Staff Sergeant during World War II with the U.S. Air Force 409th Bomb Group, 643 Squadron. He was a tail belly gunner and tail gunner on a B-17.Shot down over Frankfurt, Germany and captured on Sept. 29,1944, he was held in many POW camps including Frankfurt am Main, Dulag Luft, Wetzlar on Lahn River, and also Stalag Luft 4 and Compound-D in Grosstychow in the Pomeranian sector of Northern Germany.
During his 215 days in these camps he also survived the 87-day "Death March" from Feb. 6 to May 2,1945. He was liberated by British Troops on May 2nd, 1945,
James received many medals for his time in the services including a Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, and on October 1988 at Chanute Air Force Base he received his Prisoner Of War Medal.
James was a lifetime member of the American Ex-Prisoner War, a member of the Disabled American Veterans Post 40 and 8, and a member with the 409th Bomb Group Air Force Division 9th AF ETO. He was also a Past Commander of the American Legion Post 448 in Minier, Illinois.
James and Joyce, married for 45 years, raised a son and a daughter.