Tom A. Thomas Jr.

Tom A. Thomas Jr.

Born in Ada, Oklahoma, Tom A. Thomas Jr., was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force during World War II. While serving his country, he became the second pilot to make an unrehearsed catapult launch of his plane from a British Escort Carrier and the first to successfully land his plane in Casablanca.

Eventually Thomas was captured in Sicily when he was hit by ground fire. After escaping the enemy, he went on to complete his tour of duty, earning several medals for his service. After retiring from the USAF in 1949, he went on to serve in the Air Force Reserve until 1980.

As founder and president of Thomas Concrete Productions in Oklahoma City, he helped develop the concept of building structures from pre-fabricated, pre-cast concrete, successfully changing the way buildings would be built.

In his free time, Tom continued to fly and was an avid collector of antique aircraft. He was instrumental in creating the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. In 1997, he donated his entire $3 million collection of 72 World War II era airplanes to be permanently housed at the museum.

Since 1979, Tom had made gifts to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to support a variety of charitable organizations. After his death in 1998, a gift from his estate created an advised fund that he designated to support more than 60 charitable organizations including Science Museum Oklahoma and the Salvation Army. Thanks to Tom's careful planning and thoughtful generosity these organizations will receive an annual grant from the Tom A. Thomas Jr. Fund in perpetuity.

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2013 - Tom A. Thomas Jr. Fund

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