Tilley, Thomas Marshall, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1970-1970, Air Defense Command (ADC)
Service Years
1941 - 1970
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox-Deceased to remember Tilley, Thomas Marshall, Col.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Augusta, Georgia

Date of Passing
Sep 17, 2011
Location of Interment
Oakwood Cemetery - Raleigh, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Colonel Thomas Marshall Tilley retired from the Air Force in 1970. He was a command pilot with 4500 flying hours. After retirement he was employed at the University of Northern Colorado where he administered graduate programs for Colorado Springs from 1973-1983.

Colonel Tilley is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was laid to rest  with full military honors on September 19, 2011.
Other Comments:

"Name: Thomas M. Tilley
Birth Year: 1918
Nativity or State or Country: North Carolina
County or City: Durham
Enlistment Date: 26 Apr 1941
Enlistment State: North Carolina
Enlistment City: Fort Bragg
Branch: Air Corps
Grade Code: Aviation Cadet
Component: Regular Army
Source: Civil Life
Education: 3 years of college
Civil Occupation: Actors and actresses
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 68
Weight: 163"
Source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Ancestry.com

The 57th Fighter Group left Quonset Point, Rhode Island on July 1, 1942 with pilots and P-40 aircraft aboard the USS Ranger. About 100 miles off the coast of Africa, the pilots took off in 72 Warhawks and flew to Accra, Gold Coast. This was the first fighter group to takeoff from a carrier in land based fighter planes. In stages they moved across Africa to Palestine. They arrived in the Mediterranian Theatre of Operations on July 30, 1942, the first American fighter group in Africa and the MTO. Their first mission  to support the British in Egypt was on August 9, 1942. They later fought in the Battle of El Alamein, as well in the "Palm Sunday Massacre" over Cape Bon, Tunisa. The 57th, along with their cover spitfires, destroyed 59 JU-52's, 14 Me-109s, 2 Me 110s, all within a ten minute battle. While on his tour, Thomas Tilley flew 70 combat missions. During the 1950's he commanded two fighter squadrons of F-102s and later held positions in NORAD, Chicago Air Defense Section, and Alaskan Air Command.

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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)57th Fighter GroupContinental NORAD Region, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)Alaskan Air Command (AAC)
Air Defense Command (ADC)
  1941-1941, United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 57th Fighter Group
  1942-1945, AAF MOS 1055, 57th Fighter Group
  1960-1960, Continental NORAD Region, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
  1965-1965, Alaskan Air Command (AAC)
  1970-1970, Air Defense Command (ADC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
 Colleges Attended 
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth Carolina State University
  1937-1940, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  1946-1948, North Carolina State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-35 Seversky  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  P-51/F-51 Mustang  F-102 Delta Dagger  
  1941-1945, P-35 Seversky
  1942-1945, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1943-1945, P-51/F-51 Mustang
  1956-1960, F-102 Delta Dagger
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