Marlin Henry Lewis Thomas (1923 - 2017)

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Maj. Marlin Henry Lewis Thomas passed away at his home in San Antonio, Texas on September 28, 2017. After Pearl Harbor, Marlin went directly from high school in Dallas, Texas, to the United States Army Air Corps, where he received training at various air fields and camps in the Texas area.
He received his commission as a second lieutenant and his wings at Brooks Field Air Force Base in Texas in 1943.
Marlin became an experienced trainer of other airmen in the Air Corps, and served in Okinawa, Japan just prior to the end of World War II. After that he was stationed in Japan, Korea (prior to the Korean War), Greenland, and other posts before his retirement in 1963, when he returned to civilian work in aircraft engine reconstruction.
Stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska from 1950-1952, he was the officer primarily responsible for retrieving, where possible, crashed airplanes. Once, when an engine caught on fire between Bethel and Fairbanks, he had to land on a frozen lake. He had to return to the aircraft, replace the engine, and fly the aircraft back to Elmendorf.
Marlin was an avid outdoorsman and hunted all the big game in Alaska, where he was once commissioned by the base commander to take a Utah senator on an exciting bear hunt. He continued his hunting activities in Greenland, and, for many years, in South Texas.
While stationed in Iceland, he was commissioned to attempt to retrieve an early United States satellite which had fallen into the Arctic Ocean, extremely close to the Soviet Union.
The youngest child in his family, Marlin is missed by his wife, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. He is survived by his wife, Velia; his grand-daughter Liana Thomas O'Leary; and several other grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren in San Antonio. His survivors in Anchorage include nephew Bill Cook and grand-nephew Adam Cook. .
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, 2017
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