Frank O Thomas

Frank O Thomas

World War II

Frank Oliver Thomas TSgt 349th Bomber Squadron, 100th Bomber Group

    Frank Oliver Thomas was born on 10 Nov 1921 the son of Grant Thomas and Evelyn Richard of Rutland, VT. Frank was baptized on 13 Nov at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rutland, VT. His brother, Alfred Richard Thomas was born on 20 Apr 1023 in Burlington, VT and was baptized on 3 Jun 1923 at St Joseph church in Burlington, VT. In the 1930 census he also had siblings named Richard and June. In 1940 census he was age 18 with a brother A. Richard and sister June A; Frank was a clerk at a grocery store and his father was an electrician Central Vermont Public Service Corp. Evelyn Richard was from the Richard family in Burlington.

    On 15 Feb 1942 Frank registered for the draft at Springfield, VT where he was currently employed at Westinghouse Electric Mfg plant. He was 5 ft 11 and ¾ and weighed 160 lbs and had a light complexion with brown eyes and hair. His residence was 182 Crescent Street in Rutland. He worked at Westinghouse for a year and then was a student at the University of Alabama for a year before joining the Army Air Corps in January of 1943 His crew was formed on 3 May 1944.

    On 8 Aug 1944, while they were on their 26th mission, Franks B-17 crew was shot down over Perigny, France at 12:32pm due to flak over St Sylvain. Perigny was about 28 miles south of Caen, France in Normandy. Frank was a Technical Sergeant and was a Radio Operator and Gunner on B-17G #43-37865 named “Varga Venus”, 349th Bomber Squadron, 100th Bomber Group, US Army Air Force during World War II. All but one crew member died, and he was a POW until the end of the war. According to Yann Thomas (no relation) in Perigny, France, those killed were buried in Perigny temporarily; and then buried in a US Military cemetery in Blosseville-sur-Mer Churchyard, France. In 1948 Frank’s body was moved to Burlington, VT.

    Frank was declared "Missing In Action" when his B-17 was hit by a German Flak burst which put out engine 2, and another one cut off the tail assembly. The plane nosed down out of formation and exploded near the ground. Pieces of it were strewn over many places near Périgny, Northeast of Vire, France during the war. New Mount Calvary, Burlington, VT The family gravestone is at 3-B-169. Other Richard Family lots are B-107 B-108 and B-110 which are adjacent to B-169. American Air Museum in Britain

    There is a Memorial stone at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC for the crew. Gravesite for the only survivor