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David F. Thwaites


1921 - 2015 Notice Condolences
David F. Thwaites Notice


David F. Thwaites, LTC, US Air Force (Ret), passed away on 15 December 2015. A WWII P-47 Fighter Pilot, he was 94 years old. Born in Conshohocken, PA in 1921, he was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. David joined the US Army Air Corps in 1939 and initially trained as a radio operator in the B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber. He attended flight school in 1942, receiving his Aviator Wings in July 1943. While in flight school, he married the former Pauline (Polly) Watkins of Bellingham, WA in June 1942 and together they moved to numerous flight training centers in the western US and Florida. In the fall of 1943, he trained in the Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt and from there he deployed to the European Theater of Operations. He flew missions in support of Allied operations during the D-Day Invasion on 6 June 1944 and was overall credited with destroying seven German aircraft while damaging 3 others during nine months of aerial combat operations. For his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross w/2OLC's along with 4 Air Medals. In addition, he was recognized as an air combat "Fighter Ace" in the P-47 aircraft. He returned to the US in September 1944 and served a total of 26 years in the US Air Force. Following Military Service, he worked for NSA enjoying many years working on radio antenna projects. His wife Polly died in 1971 and in 1983, he married the former Sarah Herman and they have resided in the Annapolis area since that time. Dave and Sarah were avid sailors spending many summers sailing the Chesapeake Bay while spending 20 plus winter seasons cruising the ICW to Florida and beyond. Between them, they had 8 children, 14 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, January 8 at Lasting Tributes Cremation & Funeral Care, 814 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 from 1:00 pm until the start of the Memorial Service at 3:00 pm. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined. Online condolences may be made at:
Published in Baltimore Sun on Dec. 20, 2015
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