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Iowa History Daily: August 6 - J.T. Tumilson's

Iowa History Daily: On August 6, 2011, Navy SEAL Jon T. (J.T.) Tumilson of Rockford, Iowa, died while serving in Wardek Province, Afghanistan. The CH-47 Chinook Helicopter carrying Tumilson crashed after taking enemy fire, killing 30 Americans and 8 Afghans in one of the deadliest moments of the US-Afghan War.

Born in Osage, Tumilson grew up in Rockford. As a 15-year-old attending Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock High School, Tumilson wrote a paper detailing how he hoped to spend the next 20 years serving as a Navy SEAL. After his death, his friend Scott Nichols recalled: “J.T. was going to be a Navy SEAL come hell or high water.” Tumilson enlisted in August of 1994.

Tumilson’s commitment to his dream paid off: in April of 2002 he graduated from Underwater Demolition/SEAL School in Coronado, California. Serving in three West Coast based Special Warfare Units from 2002 through 2009, and two East Coast based Special Warfare Units from 2009 to 2011, Tumilson served the United States with great pride throughout the course of US-Afghan War.

Over 1,000 mourners packed into the RRMR gym to pay their respects. Tumilson’s faithful Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, led his family into the service before laying down next to the flag-draped coffin. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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