Colonel A. T. Pumphrey was born on a farm near Dill City, Oklahoma, in Washita County. He graduated Leedey High School as Class Valedictorian in 1934. After working six years in the Texas Panhandle, in 1940 he volunteered for the draft, was accepted sworn in and transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas where he served until 1942.
Now a corporal, he was ordered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for flight school and graduated in April 1943, a staff sergeant, designated a Liaison Pilot. He was then assigned to the 191st Field Artillery Battalion. Camp Roberts, California. In 1944, the 191st was ordered to England and in August of that year landed in France.
He was wounded when his aircraft was shot down by German fighter aircraft while flying a reconnaissance mission in support of the 4th Armored Division. He was evacuated to England where he had surgery, recovered and returned to the 191st in late December 1944.
After the war he served six months of occupation duty in Germany, then rotated back to the United States. He served in the Korean War from August 1950 until September 1951. He served in the Vietnam War in 1966. His awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with V and 45 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Master US Army Aviation Wings. He was appointed to Colonel in 1967 and retired 1 April 1973. He wrote two books: I'm a Guy From Leedey High and John Ragan Remembered.