From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Thomas Bakke '52

Date of birth: February 27, 1926

Date of death: December 10, 1964

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1952 Lucky Bag:


Tom was lost when his B-57 crashed on takeoff from Patrick AFB, Florida, on December 10, 1964. The other crewman was also killed.

Tom is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his first wife, who died in 1960. He remarried and was survived by his second wife, Dorothy, and five children.

From the January 1965 issue of Shipmate: "He will certainly be missed by his classmates. Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him couldn't help but admire and respect him."

From the February 1965 issue:

Ace Lyons and Red Stein sent in a report of Tom Bakke's funeral:

On a bitter cold 15th of December a large group of classmates and other friends paid their last tribute to Tom Bakke as he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

It is significant that many came from out of town, both civilian and military, to fill Ft. Myer Chapel to capacity. It is difficult to recall all who attended, some were not classmates.

Tom was killed in a plane crash on 10 Dec. The crash occurred almost immediately after takeoff on a routine proficiency flight from Patrick AFB.

Tom and Dorothy Bakke both knew of tragedy. Tom lost his first wife due to a serious illness about three years ago. Dorothy lost her first husband in Korea. Dorothy Bakke is much to be admired for her strength of character and courage. She withstood the tremendous emotional strain with the same fortitude that was so admired in our former first lady a little over a year ago.

Those of us who knew Tom, and were his teammates, feel that his loss is a tremendous waste of human life. One characteristic of Tom dominates our memory of him, expressed simply yet eloquently by Ben Martin: "Tom always gave 110% of himself."

Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy goes out to Dorothy and to Tom's mother and family. It is understood that Dorothy returned to Florida until January then moved to Alexandria.


Tom was an assistant coach at the US Air Force Academy from 1958-1961.

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Robert Allison ’52 was also an officer of the Varsity ’N’ Club.

Class of 1952

Thomas is one of 50 members of the Class of 1952 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.