TOM, GEORGE WILLIAM
TOM, GEORGE WILLIAM
Rank / Branch:
SP5 E-5, U.S. ARMY
FIRST AVIATION BRIGADE
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, CRASH HELIC
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
GEORGE WILLIAM TOM, SPECIALIST 5, U.S. ARMY, STANTON, MARTIN COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Army Crewman Aviator Wings, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with "V" device, Purple Heart, Army Commendations Medal, Air Medal w/14 clusters, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
George Tom was born in Stanton, Texas to his parents, Lora Bell Tom and Leo Glen Tom. He attended elementary school in Stanton, then attended Greenwood High School in Midland County and was a 1965 graduate of Midland High School. After high school, he attended Price College in Amarillo and DeVry Technical Institute.
Midland High School 1965
He joined the Army in Midland with a home of record of Stanton. He completed basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, crew chief training at Fort Rucker, Alabama and rotary mechanic training at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He was on flight status. He started his tour in Vietnam on July 5, 1968 and was assigned to the 281st Aviation Assault Helicopter Company, 10th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group, First Aviation Brigade. He was well liked by his fellow soldiers. He had completed a twelve month tour and took 2 six month extensions in Vietnam to qualify for a six month drop from the Army. He spent his leaves at home in Stantion before returning to Vietnam.
On April 27,1970, Sp5 Tom was a crewchief on a UH-1H helicopter, tail number 66-00870. This aircraft was engaged in a combat aviation mission performing aerial reconnassance looking for an Anti-Aircraft gun site near Tuy Hoa. The aircraft was shot down by enemy ground fire. The door gunner was able to jump from the aircraft before it crashed and although he was seriously injured, he survived. The other three, the aircraft commander, the co-pilot and Sp5 Tom perished in the crash.
Tom-First Tour In Vietnam
Specialist Tom was buried with full military honors in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Stanton, Texas and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor while engaged in aerial flight.
Daughter-Laura Burks lives in Washington State with husband David and three kids, Alec, Ryan and Lauren.
With guitar-Nov 1968
St. Joseph Cemetery, Stanton, Tx