From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Thomas Boulton '43

Date of birth: June 12, 1921

Date of death: May 14, 1957

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:

Biography & Loss

From Find A Grave:

THOMAS A. BOULTON, son of Dr. and Mrs Arthur O. Boulton, of Gladwin, will graduate from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis on June 19. The new Ensign was born June 12, 1921. He graduated from Gladwin High School with the class of 1938, and continued his studies for one year at Olivet College. He was nominated to Annapolis from Gladwin county by Congressman Roy O. Woodruff of the 10th Congressional District of Michigan, and appointed a Midshipman in the United States Navy on July 26, 1939, entering with a class of 793 students. The class of 1943 completed the four year course in three years, and will graduate nearly 600 Midshipmen. Along with his Ensign's commission, Tom receives his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He graduates in the upper ten per cent of his class, having received the coveted Midshipman "Stars" for academic distinction in his last two years. Mrs Boulton, Mrs Glen Wagar, Miss Mary Louise Wagar and Miss Grace Fox, left last week for Annapolis to be Midshipman Boulton's guests during "June Week" and graduation. He will return with them for a short visit at his home here before going to sea about July first Dr. Boulton, who has been ill the past week, has entered the hospital until Mrs Boulton and Tom's return. Gladwin County Record, June 17, 1942

From Find A Grave:

Tom Boulton Killed in Plane Crash

Word was received in Gladwin this morning that Commander Thomas A. Boulton, 37, of the United States Naval Air Force, was instantly killed Tuesday evening when his plane crashed on a carrier ship at San Francisco, Calif.

According to information received here, Commander Boulton was landing his jet plane on a new flat-top plane carrier in the harbor at San Francisco. The grappling cable, that catches the plane as it lands on the deck, apparently did not function properly and flipped his plane over instead of halting it.

Tom had talked to his mother, Mrs. E. Rose Boulton, in Florida last week and told her they were loading planes preparatory to going to sea and expected to leave for Japan July 1.

He was also planning on meeting Mrs. Boulton in Gladwin May 27 for a three-day leave. Commander Boulton was married to the former Miss Helen Tuttle of California in 1947 and their 10th anniversary would have been May 24. With their three children, they made their home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

He was a graduate of the Gladwin High School and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. The above photo was made at the time of his graduation. Burial will be in California. Further information will be printed later. Gladwin County Record, May 15, 1957

Note that there are many inaccuracies in the article. He was not piloting a jet aircraft, the aircraft carrier was not operating in San Francisco harbor, and the ship was not new.

According to his daughter, he was piloting an A3D Skyraider and crashed while recovering aboard USS Bon Homme Richard (CV 31) on May 14, 1957.

He was "attached to Heavy Attack Squadron Two." (Information from July 1957 issue of Shipmate.)


His wife, Helen, was a LT in the US Navy Nurse Corps and niece of Fleet Admiral Leahy. She remarried to a Class of 1939 graduate, William Fargo. Thomas was also survived by a daughter, Barbara, and two sons, Tom and Keith. All of the children took their stepfathers surname. Tom Fargo graduated the Naval Academy in 1970 and retired from the US Navy as an Admiral and Commander of the US Pacific Command. Keith Fargo also served in the Navy, retiring as a Captain in the Supply Corps.

Class of 1943

Thomas is one of 83 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.