Born in Franklin, Ky., 30 June 1922. Graduated Male High School, Louisville. Joined army Air Corps, 16 June 1942. Graduated Flight School, 30 June 1943. During WWII, Mantell assigned to 440th Troop Carrier Group, 96th Troop Carrier Squadron, 9th Air Force. Awarded Distuinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal w/3 OLCs for heroism. Following the war returned to Louisville. Joined newly organized Kentucky Air National Guard, assigned as Flight Leader, "C" Flight, 165th Fighter Squadron. Kentucky Air National Guard on 16 February 1947. 7 January 1948, while on training flight with three other P-51Ds (Mustang) Mantell was directed by flight tower at Godman Field to pursue an unidentified flying object. While in pursuit of object, died in plane crash near this site. The story of Mantell's death while chasing UFO made headlines across the country. Intense military investigation of incident became part of Proget SIGN later BLUEBOOK, the military's investigations into UFOs. Much speculation and conjecture has been written about the incident, it is still uncertain what Mantell was pursuing at the time of the crash. Mantell is the first flight casualty of the Kentucky Air National Guard. Buried Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.