Andrew Tsimpides

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Andrew G. Tsimpides (born August 16, 1917 in Birmingham; died September 19, 2011 in Birmingham) was a [{World War II]] veteran, wrestling manager and club owner.

Tsimpides was one of seven children born to George and Theoharie Tsimpides. He attended Phillips High School.

Tsimpides served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 8th Cavalry Regiment. He joined the unit in 1936 when it was still mounted on horseback. During World War II the Cavalry was sent into the Pacific islands as foot soldiers. In 1944 an exploding artillery shell on New Britain, Papua New Guinea killed many in his unit and sent him into a coma. He was thought to have died. Because the island was coral, the casualties were transported to another island for burial. When Tsimpides' mouth was forced open to receive his dog-tags, he was discovered to be breathing. He was stabilized and transported to Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, where he eventually recovered.

Because his death had already been reported, Tsimpides was listed officially among the casualties of the war. He was discharged, and his mother collected GI insurance. After the war he and his wife Sylvalene (called "Pat") raised two sons: Danny and Michael.

Tsimpides was co-owner of the 5 O'Clock Club and the Crazy Horse on Morris Avenue. He managed wrestler Gorgeous George Jr and weightlifter / strong-man Paul Anderson.

Because he was still officially a casualty, Tsimpides' name was added to the Alabama Veterans Memorial off I-459 in 2001. He was a member of the National First Cavalry Association, which sponsors reunions and other events for veterans.

He resided in Adamsville and continued to participate in the National Veterans Day Parade each year in Birmingham, sporting his khaki uniform with its 1st Cavalry Division patch and polished brown boots. Until 2009 he still rode a horse in the parade.

Tsimpides died in 2011 and is buried at Jefferson Memorial Gardens South.


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