Ed Thomas of North Rose, never knew his Uncle John Thomas. First Lieutenant Thomas had served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and lost his life in that war, serving his country,
Over the years, Ed’s dad, George (who served in the Marine Corps during WWII) mentioned his twin brother, and said John was “the smart one.”
Having only enough money back in the 1940s to send one of their sons to college, his parents sent John to attend Cornell University for 2 years before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941. He graduated from Air Corps Advanced Flying School in the April of 1942.
John’s plane was shot down during a bombing mission in Romania on August 1, 1943. At first, he was listed as “Missing in Action”, but very soon, after reading over the pilot reports, John was declared dead.
The family were left without John’s body ever being identified and they were not able to bring him home to bury him.
That changed in 2018, when the division of the Army which strives to discover the identities of fallen soldiers, contacted a cousin of Ed’s and asked for a DNA sample to work on identifying WWII remains. In 2020, Ed Thomas, John’s nephew, was contacted for his DNA sample also.
Finally, in September of 2022, the family was informed that the Army had 100% positively identified those remains as 1st Lt. John Thomas. The family was told by Retired Colonel Jim Bell, that the Army would take care of claiming the remains, and flying the body home. They would also arrange and pay for his funeral.
John Thomas will be buried with full military honors at the Rose Rural Cemetery in Rose NY.
The public is invited to pay their respects to 1st Lt. Thomas and his family at Farnsworth-Keysor Funeral Home, North Rose, NY. Calling hours at the funeral home will take place Friday, May 19 from 3-7 pm. The funeral will be Saturday, May 20 at 11:00 am followed by burial at Rose Cemetery.