Thomas Arnold Bird, Jr

First Lieutenant
HMM-363, MAG-36, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
28 November 1942 - 21 March 1966
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Panel 06E Line 028

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Thomas A Bird

The database page for Thomas Arnold Bird, Jr

8 Feb 2002

Tom Bird was the first person in our town to die in Vietnam. His home town of Mt. Lebanon, PA built and dedicated a beautiful Memorial Park in his name which is still enjoyed by the town residents to this day! Tom died a hero having been shot and killed as he exited his 'copter to help a wounded comrade.

Tom and I were close friends throughout his short life. He and I along with a large group of other town boys spent many hours enjoying the activities in which all young boys of that era engaged.

Tom was a great guy. Super personality and a sense of humor that always kept us laughing. A loyal and true friend to all who knew him. You could always count on Tom to be there when you needed him no matter what the reason.

Tom always wanted to fly. While in high school he took flying lessons and when he enlisted Tom became a 'copter pilot which for him was a dream come true.

Tom died young doing what he loved ... flying and helping another human being! Tom Bird, my friend ... FOREVER YOUNG!

A memorial initiated by
Tim Hildebrand
Plain City, Ohio

Bird Park

12 Nov 2002

Thank you for making this page about my Uncle Tommy. I wish that I could have met him, he sounds like he was such a great guy. My family misses him very much, but now he is with his brother, Dick, and his mother, Rita. I am proud to say that I have someone who was willing to die for our freedom in my family.

From a niece
Email will be forwarded by the

05 Jan 2004

Hey, Uncle Thomas.

I have never met you but I know that you served our country. I try to go to Bird Park every year and cry. Thank you for serving our country. Do me a favor and say "hello" to Uncle Dick and Nana in heaven. I miss you and I love you. We want you to know that everyone loves you.

From a nephew,
Brad Guthrie
155 Belle Terre, Covington, Louisiana

08 Jan 2007

Dear Uncle Tommy,

My mom Katie has always told me about you and you were such a great brother to her and I want to thank you very much for being with her, and the rest of the Bird Family. In my fith grade year I wrote about you in Vietnam for what I thought a hero is, just like you. Even though I have not met you, you sound like a very great Uncle and I would have loved to have spent time with you but I know you are with me in my heart and watching me right now in heaven. Thank you very very much for looking after my mom in her childhood and for serving our country when we needed you.

Love, Your Nephew Joseph

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A UH-34D helicopter (BuNo 145802) from HMM-363 was shot down while involved in a troop lift during Operation TEXAS. Ten Marines aboard the aircraft died in the crash:
  • HMM-363
    • 1stLt Noah M. Kraft, Gainesville, FL, pilot
    • 1stLt Thomas A. Bird, Pittsburgh, PA, copilot
    • GySgt Calvin K. Chow, Honolulu, HI, crewchief
    • GySgt Benito Igarta, Honolulu, HI, gunner

  • K Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
    • Sgt John A. Mitchell, Columbus, OH
    • LCpl Dennis R. Andrew, Easton, PA
    • LCpl James H. Cavicchi, Weymouth, MA
    • PFC Louis A. Ambrose, Sewaren, NJ
    • PFC Bruce L. Watkins, Atlanta, GA
    • PFC Billie J. Williams, Kansas City, KS
Additional information is available on the Pop-A-Smoke site.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Tim Hildebrand
Plain City, Ohio

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Feb 2002
Last updated 05/17/2007