CUSHMAN THOMAS J

WO1 Thomas J. Cushman was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 08/23/2021 at the age of 73.0
Saint Louis, MO
Flight Class 69-7
Date of Birth 08/31/1948
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with HHT 3/11 ACR in 69-70, 120 AHC in 70
This information was provided by Gene Howe - Obit

More detail on this person: On Monday, August 23, 2021, Thomas Joseph Cushman, Jr. passed away at the age of 72 years. Tom was at his home in St. Louis, MO, surrounded by his loving family, his beloved antiques, historical artifacts, grandfather clocks and mementos from his extensive travels during his military service. Tom was born August 31, 1948 in New Haven, Vermont, to Thomas Joseph Cushman, Sr. and Elisabeth Mae (Kilbourn) Cushman. He married the love of his life, Norma (Cayabyab) Cushman, and they celebrated 47 happy years together. Their sons, Thomas Joseph Cushman, III (Joe) of St. Louis, MO and Brian Barlow Cushman, his wife Erika (Malaguit) Cushman, and their daughter Olivia, reside in Burbank, CA. Tom graduated from Bristol (VT) High School in 1965, Troy State University, Troy, AL and from the US Army Aviation Center, Ft. Rucker, AL, Warrant Officer Candidate School. He continued to have a very successful career as a military helicopter pilot. His indomitable spirit, intelligence and perseverance easily earned him the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) (Ret.) in the US Army. While in active duty, he flew Chinook and CH54 Skycrane helicopters, among many others, was a test pilot, served two tours during the Vietnam War and was also stationed in Mainz, Germany. He flew the final helicopter to lift off from the United States Embassy during the evacuation of Saigon. While stationed at Ft. Lewis, Tacoma, Washington, he flew the helicopter that hovered over Mt. St. Helens after it erupted, as others measured how much of the mountain had disappeared. He was a proud member of "The Bandits" 3rd Aviation Squadron, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, helicopter pilots who continue to maintain their lifelong friendships. Tom cherished their reunions, their stories and camaraderie. He is survived by his sister, Diane Cushman, of Bristol, VT, her children Anna Smith (Stephen Pope) of Vergennes, VT, Will Smith of Brooklyn, NY., and his sister, Mary Cushman, of Ashfield, MA, her children, Douglas Porter (Sara Taylor) of Northfield, MA and Elisabeth Porter of Greenfield, MA. He also has many cousins and their families in Vermont, Virginia, Florida, California, Washington, the Philippines and Canada. He is predeceased by his parents, brother Edward, grandparents and multiple aunts, uncles and cousins. Tom had an inveterate interest in historical artifacts (Civil War, Revolutionary War, and Native American), antique clocks, (especially grandfather), watches, steam engines and various other antiquities. Many of his friends may remember his clever creations in his Bristol, VT neighborhood to include his seven- foot- high bicycle, go carts, jack jumpers, scooters and most anything that could be disassembled and reinvented into something "new". He cherished his 1947 Indian motorcycle, "saving" it for most of his life and he considered it to be a special treasure. One of Tom's many projects was restoring a classic British MG that he sold to a collector whose intention was to return it overseas. Tom also loved lost, injured or abandoned animals and he had a lifetime of pets, such as crows, skunks, baby robins, and many other "critters". They were lucky to know him! Tom was an indomitable spirit, a guiding light, and he was a kind and compassionate man who adored his family and those around him. He was a dear friend to all who knew him and cared deeply for those in need. His wise and gentle spirit will live within those who knew him and will guide us through our lives. Please remember Tom and smile as you remember his calm nature, his New England sense of humor and his inquisitive mind. We are all lucky and blessed to have known him, and we can carry his strength forward with us in our own lives. A Military Memorial Service will be held in St. Louis, MO on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Hutchens Funeral Home. He will have an interment in the Catholic Cemetery in Bristol, Vermont, with military honors, joining his mother, father, brother and other Kilbourn descendants. This date will be announced at a later date.

Burial information: Catholic Cemetery. Bristol, VT

This information was last updated 09/05/2021

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Date posted on this site: 09/09/2021


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