461st plaque

461st Bombardment Group (H)

Thomas Randolph Moss

Theater: European

Highest rank: Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)

Married: Margie Moss on Mar. 25, 1943

He was sworn in as a private in February 1942 in Baltimore, MD.  In May he was called up to go to Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama as an Aviation Cadet.  He began pre-flight training in about the middle of June 1942.  Promoted to platoon lieutenant.  He was sent to Douglas for Primary flight training, with Paul Plaginos his instructor.

Newcomb and McCormack were in the same Douglas crew of about 5 students.

He went to Gunter for Basic with BT-13a.  He was sent to Blytheville, Arkansas for advanced flight training in about December 1942.  He was checked out in AT-9 and AT-10 and then his crew was given training in AT-6 and sent to Eglin Field fixed gunnery.  He returned to Blytheville for graduation and commissioning as 2nd Lt. AC.  On the day of commissioning and graduation from Advanced Flight Training at Blytheville, he married his wife Margie.  His fellow Douglas grad, Henry J. (Hank) Stokowski and his wife Renee stood up for them at the wedding, with Hank acting as Moss’ best man.

Assigned to Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City and the 46th Bomb Group (L) A-20.  As part of the cadre helped organize the 416th Bomb Group at Will Rogers and then sent to Lake Charles AAF, Louisana for Group training and prep for overseas.

The Group was deactivated and he was sent to Roswell AAF, New Mexico for B-17 training.  Because he had previous combat aircraft time (in A-20) he was declared a first pilot B-17 in 3 weeks.  Then he sent to Gowan Field, Boise, Idaho.  He was immediately sent on to Idaho for B-24 training.  They were assigned to crews (4 officers and 1 flight engineer) for all of the time there.  He was assigned to 461st bomb Group (H) B-24 at Fresno, California.  Trained as a Group and assigned as First Pilot on Crew #27, 765th Bomb Squadron, 461st Bomb Group.

In January 1944 he departed for Italy via South America and North Africa.  Based at Torretta Field, Italy.  Flew 51 combat missions with 279 combat hours over Europe.  Grounded from further combat flying on July 8, 1944.  Then sent to Naples to await transport home. Landed in New York by ship, went to Kamp Kilmer, New Jersey for orders and to Miami Beach, Florida for R&R.

He continued as an instructor in B-24s and C-54s.  Was a C-47 pilot for transcon.

Was assigned to Kiangwan AB, Shanghai, China as Aircraft Maintenance Officer.  Was assigned to the Berlin airlift as a C-54 pilot.

In addition to other service, he was assigned to Lowry AFB for Nuclear Weapons Officer training in January 1957.  Assigned as Director of Quality Control at classified weapons storage site, Rapid City, South Dakota.  In 1961, he was sent to Korea.

He retired in July 1964 as Lt. Col. with a Command Pilot rating.