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McDonald Thomas J

Thomas J McDonald
Second Lieutenant
Serial Number:
452nd Bombardment Group, Heavy
Date of Death:
Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster, Massachusetts
Air Medal, Purple Heart

From Charlestown, Massachusetts Married to Elaine McDonald. Navigator of the B-17 Flying Fortress 42-102572 9ZN "Why Worry II" that took off from Station 142 Deopham Green in Norfolk, UK, on May 27, 1944 on a mission to bomb Strasbourg, France. The plane was hit by flak and was forced to do a belly landing in a field 1 km NE of Avoudrey, France, as it was lost and short of fuel. The entire crew survived the landing at 1320 in the afternoon. LT McDonald was taken prisoner. Eventually he was transferred to POW Camp Stalag III. He was released on 29 April 1945 On 29 November 1945, he asked to be honorably discharged and retired from service due to headaches and fatigue from battle injuries and internment. He was denied and had to complete service until 24 April 1946. He logged 500 hours as a B-17 navigator during war. After the war he worked as a night watchman before going to school on the GI bill. McDonald graduated from Suffolk University in 1957 and earned his master's degree from Boston College School of Social Work. McDonald then had six children, three boys and three girls, Elaine, Thomas, Elizabeth, Peter, Celine, and William. The family settled in Bedford, Massachusetts. Worked as a director of the North Central Mass Mental Health Center in Fitchburg, as well as a therapist at the Leominster Hospital School of Nursing, director at Middlesex County House of Correction, and the Supervising therapist at Massachusetts Correctional Institution.