461st Bombardment Wing (M)

Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas

Colonel Thomas R. Ford


Colonel Thomas R. Ford, Commander of the 461st Bombardment Wing, Tactical, Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas, was born in Edgetts, Michigan, on 4 November 1914.

Colonel Ford entered the military service upon graduation from Michigan State University.  He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant after completion of Flying School on 28 November 1939.  His first assignment was with the 25th Bomb Squadron in Panama.  He was transferred to the 59th Bomb Squadron in the Dutch West Indies where he served as Flight Commander.  He served in the Carribbean area until 1943 at which time he returned to the United States, and then transferred with the 416th Bomb Grooup to the European Theatre of Operations.  Assigned as Deputy Commander and Group Commander of the 409th Bomb Group after transferring from the 416th.  While with the 409th Bomb Group he flew numerous combat missions.

Colonel Ford returned to the United States in 1945 and was assigned as Base Commander at Lake Charles Air Force Base, Louisiana.  From Lake Charles he went to Biggs Field, Texas, where he was A-3 for Headquarters, Ninth Air Force.  From Biggs, the Colonel went to Greenville Army Air Force Base, Mississippi, where he hel the position of Assistant Chief of Staff, A-3, for Headquarters, Ninth Air Force.

Colonel Ford was assigned to Turkey in 1947 as a member of the Joint Advisory Military Group to the Turkish Government.  In 1948, he became Chief, Combat Training Branch in TUSAFB, Ankara, Turkey.  At Ankara, he also was a member of the Joint Advisory Planning Staff.

Colonel Ford returned to the United States in August 1950 to attend the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia.  His next assignment was in the office of the Deputy Chief, Operations Plans Division, in the Director of Operations, USAF, at Washington, D.C., until February 1954, at which time he assumed command of the 461st Bombardment Wing, Tactical.

Colonel Ford has received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Croix de Guerre from the French and Belgium Governments.