Col. William Thomas, former presidential pilot, dies at 94
by Brooks Brunson email@example.com
Nov 23 2014 12:01 am
Colonel William W. Thomas, former Air Force One pilot for President Dwight Eisenhower and vice commander of the 437th Airlift Wing at the Charleston Air Force Base, died Saturday. He was 94 years old.
Thomas flew cargo over the Himalayas between India and China during World War II. Beginning in 1953, he was a presidential aircraft pilot for Columbine II and III and assistant Air Force aide to Eisenhower for his entire presidency, according to previous Post and Courier reporting.
In 1967, Thomas was named deputy commander for operations of the 437th Military Airlift Wing at the Charleston Air Force Base. In 1968, he received the Legion of Merit medal, the nation's second highest award for meritorious service. Later that year, he became vice commander. He retired in 1971.
Thomas was preceded in death by his first wife, Winifred Neal Thomas, several years ago. In 2011, The Post and Courier reported that he married Margaret McSpadden. They were both 91 at the time and residents of Bishop Gadsden on James Island.
Arrangements are being handled by J. Henry Stuhr's Downtown Chapel of Charleston.
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