Location:
36 Perimeter Rd., Bradley Int'l Airport,
Windsor Locks,CT 06096
N 41d 56' 512" W 72d 41' 36"  
View Directions Here

Hours:
Open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone (860) 623-3305

Admission:
Adults 12 & Up $12.00
Children 4-11 $6.50
3 & Under Free
Seniors 65 & Up $11.00

New England Air Museum
Wilford J. Thomas
 
Wilford and Jane Thomas, 1943
Wilford and Jane Thomas, 1943
 
Recent Address:   6309 East Shore Road, Glenfield, NY 13343
 
Email:    
 
Family Information:   Parents: Guy and Norah; Wife: Jane; Siblings: Pattison and Zane
 
Hometown:   Lowville, NY
 
Date Entered Service:   July 1941
 
Service Number:   O-744167
 
Bomb Group:   462nd
 
Squadron:   768th
 
Location of Unit:   Walker AFB, KS; September 1943
 
Missions Flown:   36
 
Hump Missions Flown:    
 
Targets:    
 
Awards/Decorations:   Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Medal with 3 Clusters
 
Service Schools Attended:   Preflight-Santa Ana, CA Sep 1942-Jan 1943; Bombardier School-Roswell, N Jan-Apr 1943; Navigation School-San Marcos, TX Apr-Sep 1943
 
Military Specialty(ies):   MOS 1036-Navigator-Bombardier
 
Rank Upon Discharge:   1st Lt.
 
Crew Type:   Flight crew
 
Airplane Serial No.& Name:   42-6248 Green Dragon, 42-63393 Rush Order, 42-6346 Man-O-War, 42-63457 Old Acquaintance, 42-6312 Mysterious Mistress, 42-24506 Untouchable, 42-93873 (unnamed), 42-63459 (unnamed), 42-63569 (unnamed)
 
Were you a POW?   No
 
Were you interned?   No
 
Date Transferred from the 58th:   August, 1945
 
Date Discharged from the 58th:   October, 1945
 
Post-WWII Military Service:    
 
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
Owned a bookstore in Lowville, NY from 1946 to 1959. Began teaching career in Sept. 1959. Took courses for certification as a School Counselor. Began as Counselor in 1963 in Watertown, NY. Started in Lowville as School Guidance in 1966 until retirement in 1982.
 
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
I have always been proud of my service, especially as (primarily) a Bombardier on a B-29. Our crew was close during our service years and in all of the missions we flew. Since then we have gotten together numerous times to renew friendships and recall incidents of our service.

Recently a local newspaper ran a series on WWII veterans and the reporter interviewed me at length. It resulted in a page-and-a-half article in his paper with a lot of detail of my flying career.

Even more recently, a 6th grade class at the local school did a unit on WWII veterans and one of those students interviewed me. They published a book of the many interviews given. All of these have reminded people of the sacrifices made by WWII veterans and the hazards they faced.

I feel that the B-29, even without the atom bomb, did a lot to end the war with Japan. We began our attacks from China (mostly not productive), but when we began bombing from Tinian, we inflicted untold damage.
 
Comments:
Bill served as an elder and a deacon with his church, he was a volunteer EMT with the Lewis County Search and Rescue, and was co-chair of the Lewis County United Fund. Bill was involved in Boys Scouts as a youth, having attained the rank of Eagle Scout. As an adult leader he had received the Silver Beaver Award, Scouting's highest adult award.

Bill passed away on November 4 2010.

 

Wilford and Jane Thomas, 1993
Wilford "Bill" and Jane Thomas, 1993

 


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