More UnBroken - Tom Gerrity Still in the Fight With 'Mortimer' - 1942

Back:  P/O Allen R. Page (RAAF) - Capt. Smiling Tom P. Gerrity - M/Sgt Melvin E. Owens - Sgt. Al Fawe - Cpl. Ed D. Connor                                                 
Front: T/Sgt Al Simmons - T/Sgt James G. Westbrook - Unknown - Unknown

Yesterday, I wrote about a Leo Alumnus (dec.) - Thomas P. Gerrity* ( Leo Class of 1930 - the Charter Class). Thomas P. Gerrity became one of the pioneers of the Missile Program that eveolved into NASA and landed a man on the moon. Tom Gerrity died of a heart attack in in 1968, while directing the missile program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio,

The photos linked here were taken in May and and June of 1942.  Less than a month before, Tom Gerrity escaped the Fall of Bataan when he was ordered out to Australia - there were more planes than pilots Down Under.  Tom Gerrity fought in the Phillipines from December 1941 through April, 1942 as a medium bomber pilot whose plane was bombed and straffed (Gerrity was wounded in that attack) before it could fly from Nichols Field, as an air liason officer, flying a P-40 to and from Corregidor for General Wainwright, the scapegoat chosen by Douglas MacArthur for his own failures, as a member of the Bataan 24th Pursuit Group flying obsolete and shot-up planes against the Japanese and as a rifleman when the planes ran out.

Gerrity starved on Bataan and stayed in the fight even though he was racked by malaria and bone-breaking dengue fever.

Lieutenant Gerrity and several other pilots managed to get a Navy float-plane back in shape and flew it to Mindanao, where they were picked up and taken to Australia by members of their Bomb Group, who had been ordered out earlier.

Tom Gerrity was married and had a son back home in the States.

America was beaten all over the Pacific and Asia. Only a few pilots managed to take the fight to Japan,  Tom Gerrity, starved, wounded and sick, stayed in the fight.  He flew a bomber nicknamed 'Mortimer.'

In the following months, Gerrity flew 49bombing missions and sank 28 Japanese ships,

 B-25C   "Mortimer"   41-12443  

Ask yourself, " Should our kids know about a Tom Gerrity, a Motts Tonelli, a Louis Zamperini, inorder to lead good life?"

That is not a rhetorical question.

Tom Gerrity

Born December 8, 1913

Harlowton, Montana

Died February 24, 1968 (aged 54)

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Allegiance United States of America

Service/branch United States Air Force

Years of service 1939-1968

Rank General

Commands held Air Force Logistics Command

Battles/wars World War II

Awards Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)

Silver Star

Air Medal (2)

Purple Heart

Relations Thomas P. Gerrity (son)[1

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Tags: Military History


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