HITS, MISSES & WINS: A Fighter Pilot’s Life Story

An exciting life story of an unusual man, who planned to study medicine, but changed his mind at college graduation to become a professional military fighter pilot. Follow his life through the Korean War, his travels and adventures leading to Vietnam, where he was a fighter pilot flying the F-105, the principal ‘workhorse’ dive bomber of the war; shot down by anti-aircraft fire on his 67th mission, he parachuted from his flaming ship, was captured and spent nearly six years in a North Vietnamese POW Camp. In 1973, war ended. He returned to flying and command duties until retiring in March 1978.
Post retirement he became a college teacher, semi-professional jazz sax player, Certified Financial Planner, charter boat
operator and owner of a small chain of Pizza stores in Spain – all while living an adventurous life in Italy and Madrid. In 1992 Tom and his wife Ann returned to the US to live in Vail, where both worked on the mountain – Ann in guest services while Tom as a ski instructor for 16 years; he played with a jazz trio, continued financial advising, and with a partner built 28 homes. Finally, in 2008, full retirement brought the family to Anthem, AZ, where at 93, Tom is busy as an advocate for veterans and is still playing golf and ‘working out’ at the Gym five days per week.

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