By Nelson W., Jr. Aldrich,W. Averell Harriman,Richard L. Jackson
Tommy joined the Lafayette Escadrille in the course of WWI on the age of 17. He was once shot down, captured by way of the Germans, after which made a dramatic get away to Switzerland. inside many years after the struggle, he had turn into one of many stars of the “Golden Age of Sport.” within the 20s and 30s, Tommy ruled polo extra decisively than Bobby Jones did golfing or Babe Ruth did baseball.
Settling in big apple together with his growing to be kinfolk, he grew to become an funding banker and threw well-known events in nice Neck, new york, which attracted the wealthy and well-known in addition to celebrities equivalent to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. regularly impecunious, the Fitzgeralds have been effortless to draw to a lavish social gathering, yet no longer really easy to persuade to go away.
When the US entered WWII, Tommy re-entered the provider, yet was once instructed he used to be “too outdated” for wrestle flying. He grew to become the most important booster of the recent P-51, then in improvement, turning into instrumental in convincing the military to construct it to guard Flying Fortresses on their bombing raids over Germany. We have been wasting 1000's of the heavy bombers to Luftwaffe Messerschmitt’s simply because we didn’t have a fighter which may succeed in Germany with the bombers. The P-51 was once a game-changer. Hermann Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, informed his American interrogators after the conflict that after he observed P-51s flying unopposed within the skies over Berlin, he knew the gig used to be up and Germany may lose the warfare.
Tragically, on April 18, 1944, Tommy died test-flying one of many new P-51s in England. he'll ceaselessly be an American hero.