Thomas Randolph McCormick

United States Air Force
14 November 1943 - 10 May 1969
Santa Monica, California
Panel 24W Line 101



USAF Navigator/Bombardier

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Randolph McCormick

10 May 2004

The Last Friendly Face

Tom McCormick and I were classmates in Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB. When we graduated, Tom went to electronic warfare school and then to a B-52 crew at Travis AFB. I went to navigator/bombardier school and then to an EB-66 squadron in South East Asia.

My flight to Vietnam left from Travis AFB, and Tom and Carolyn invited me to stay with them. On my last night before going to Vietnam, I ate a home cooked meal and played on the floor with Tom's infant son. In the morning, Tom drove me to the aerial port and waved goodbye. Tom's was the last friendly face I saw before I went to Vietnam.

We were supposed to get together when I got back, but in March 1969 Tom deployed TDY to Anderson AFB, Guam. Tom died on May 10, 1969 when his B-52 crashed on takeoff for a bombing mission in Vietnam.

Tom's name was left off the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when it was dedicated in 1982, because Guam was not in the combat zone. I couldn't visit The Wall until his name was added in 1986.

Tom Mangan

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The 4133rd Bomb Wing (Provisional) was established at Andersen AFB on Guam on 01 Feb 1966 to provide a "home away from home" for B-52, KC-135, and other supporting aircraft deployed by the Strategic Air Command in support of combat operations in South Vietnam. Both aircraft and aircrews were deployed in increments, with the 4133rd BW providing central support and scheduling. It was common for crews from one squadron to fly aircraft belonging to another.

On 10 May 1969, B-52D tail number 56-0593 belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing crashed in the Pacific Ocean shortly after take-off from Andersen AFB. All six crewmen died in the crash:

  • Major James L. Sipes, Kansas City, MO, pilot
  • Capt Larry I. Broadhead, Edmond, OK, copilot
  • Capt Thomas R. McCormick, Santa Monica, CA, EW Officer
  • Capt Russell L. Platt, Las Cruces, NM, radar navigator
  • 1stLt Maurice E. Lundy, Kansas City, KS, navigator
  • MSgt Harold B. Deel, Ferndale, MI, gunner
None of the six men are listed in available unit-of-assignment databases, but information provided by Mr. Mangan indicates they were from one of the B-52 squadrons based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index M
CA State Index . Panel 24W
4133RD BOMB WING Index

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009