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Wilford J. Thomas 1941

Wilford Thomas was one of the early draftees from Albany. He was drafted in November 1940, but obtained a deferrment which allowed him to complete his degree and graduate in June 1941. He received his commission in April 1943, received training in navigation, and joined the 20th Bomber Command in September 1943. He flew 36 combat missions in India, China and the Mariannes with the 768 Squadrom, 462nd Group, before leaving the service in October 1945.

In January 1942, he married Jean, a fellow State College student, who graduated that June. In 1944, the couple had their first child, William, who Wilford did not see until a year later. William graduated from Albany in 1966 and served as a pilot in the Navy for 22 years. Their second son, Robert, graduated in 1968 and also served as a pilot in the Navy for four years.

Read more about Thomas in the Louis C. Jones Letters:

Letter of March 14, 1945