Courtesy of Charles Smith
was born August 20, 1917 in Attleboro, MA. He graduated
from high school there and attended college for one and
one-half years before entering the military service. He
had six years of piano studies and played professionally
prior to 1941.
was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 1, 1941. Following
basic training, he was assigned to the infantry as Rifleman.
was transferred to the Army Air Corps in June 1942, and
sent to navigational school at Selma Field, Monroe, LA.
He received his commission upon graduation in May 1943.
On May 8, of that year, Tom and Catherine T. Doran of
North Attleboro, MA exchanged marriage vows.
was then assigned to the 2nd Air Force (B-24's) at Tuscan,
AZ. Following a flight accident, he was grounded, and
underwent a seven-month period of recovery. Subsequently,
he was made a ground flight instructor. In November 1944,
Tom was transferred to the 39th Bomb Group. It was there
at Salina, Kansas, that he became Crew 44's navigator.
as Radar Observer Charles Smith was also a qualified navigator,
the two performed well as a navigational team. Tom also
relied on Volmar, who had training in the Loran set.
was discharge from the Air Corps with the rank of Captain,
December 1945. Among his decorations he received were
the DFC and
three Air Medals.
and his wife, Kate, along with their daughter, made their
home in North Attleboro, MA. Tom was employed L.G. Balfour
Company as a hand engraver and designer for 41 years.
Brennens have four children and eleven grandchildren:
Maurren (Mullowney), a Registered Nurse, with 2 children;
Shiela (Fischer), high school science teacher - 5 children;
Thomas III, data processing manager - 2 children and Theresa
(Petrucelli), a teacher with 2 children. The grandchildren
range from a Junior at college all the way down to a nine
means that Tom and Kate are frequently busy attending
sports events, graduations, recitals, etc. Tom says, "This
keeps us young"