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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Gerrity

Birthplace: Harlowton, MT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Patrick

Date of Birth: 08 December 1913

Date of Death: 24 February 1968

Rank: General

Years Served: 1939-1968
Thomas Patrick Gerrity

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas Patrick Gerrity

General, U.S. Air Force

Thomas Patrick Gerrity was born on 8 December 1913 in Harlowton, MT. His family moved to Chicago, IL, when he was a child. He graduated from St. Leo High School in 1930, attended Tilden Tech, and later the Armour Institute (now the Illinois Institute of Technology); all three schools are located in Chicago.

He entered military service in August 1939 as an aviation cadet, completed flying school in May 1940, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps Reserve. His first assignment was with the 15th Bombardment Squadron at Barksdale Field, LA, and in October 1940 he was transferred to the 17th Bombardment Squadron at Savannah Field, GA. While stationed at Savannah, he attended Armstrong Junior College.

He went to the Philippine Islands with the 17th Bombardment Squadron in October 1941 and was assigned to the Air Ground Support Section of the Luzon Forces. In February 1942 he joined the 21st Pursuit Squadron at Bataan, transferring in April to the 13th Bombardment Squadron for duty in Australia. He assumed Command of the 90th Bombardment Squadron on New Guinea in August 1942. During this period he flew 49 combat missions.

In November 1942, Gerrity was assigned to the Army Air Forces Materiel Command at Wright Field, Dayton, OH, as project officer on B-25, B-26, B-29, B-32, YB-35 and B-36 bombardment aircraft. During this assignment he attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS. After graduation in October 1945, he resumed his former position at Wright Field and, in January 1946, became Chief of the Bomber Branch in the Aircraft and Missile Section. While Chief of the Bomber Branch, he attended the Advanced Management Course at Harvard University. Later, he was named Chief of the Aircraft and Missile Section.

In March 1950, Gerrity assumed Command of the 11th Bombardment Group, Strategic Air Command at Carswell Air Force Base, TX. He was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC, in March 1953 as Director of Procurement and Production Engineering in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel. Later, he was named Assistant for Production Programming in the same office.

Gerrity was transferred to the Air Materiel Command in August 1957 and assumed Command of the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area at Tinker Air Force Base, OK. In July 1960 he was appointed Commander of the Ballistic Missile Center of the Air Materiel Command at Los Angeles, CA. As a result of the reorganization of the Air Research and Development Command. and the Air Materiel Command, into the Air Force Systems Command in April 1961, Gerrity became the first Commander of the Ballistic Systems Division in Inglewood, CA.

In July 1962, Gerrity became Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems and Logistics at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington. He also served as Senior Air Force member, Military Staff Committee, United Nations.

On 1 August 1967, Gerrity was promoted to the four-star rank of General and made Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. General Gerrity died of a heart attack on 24 February 1968 while actively in that command. He was only 54.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Silver Star Medal

Air Medal (2 Awards)

Army Commendation Medal

Purple Heart


He received an honorary doctor of humanities degree from the University of Tulsa, OK.

Death and Burial

General Thomas Patrick Gerrity died on 24 February 1968 while he was Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. His wife, Margaret B. Gerrity, died on 24 January 1979 and is buried next to her husband.

Honoree ID: 725   Created by: MHOH




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