Skip to main content
SDPB Homefront Stories
Thomas Oliver



Thomas Oliver, 2007 

  • Branch of Service: United States Army Air Force
  • B24 pilot in the 756th Squadron, 459th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force

Listen to the following sections by scrolling forward to the timecode.

0:00 - West Point graduate; learned to fly B-24; missions
4:20 - Plane damaged, went down; bailed out with parachute into Yugoslavia 
10:12 - Yugoslavia people cared for the soldiers; local food; gathered with the crew; there for over two months
24:00 - Sent messages to American Fifteenth Air Force in Italy; evacuation
33:23 - Mother and father received MIA telegram   

Dr. Thomas K. Oliver Obituary

Independent Submission

Images Provided by Thomas Oliver

A story about Veteran Thomas Oliver 

Thomas Oliver



Tom Oliver's flight crew before their plane was shot down. The Mudcat (catfish) logo is in the background. Oliver is in the back row, far right. The photo was taken in February 1944.


Thomas Oliver



Oliver's flight crew after the plane was shot down. This shot shows a different copilot, who joined the team just before the day the plane went down. All survived the incident. Oliver is in the middle of the back row. Only one other crew member, Frank Bartels, top left, is still alive.

Thomas Oliver





Serbian Guerrillas: The man in front, whose name is Louie, was shot through the rib cage and left for dead by his group, but he was tended to in a little village in Serbia and survived. He eventually moved to the United States with his wife.

Thomas Oliver



Copy of telegram Oliver's mother received after his plane was shot down. She didn't learn for a few weeks that he was alive and uninjured.

Dakota Digest - Thomas Oliver 

For more information about SDPB's educational resources 
and services contact Steven Rokusek at or at (605) 222-3422

The HOMEFRONT SOUTH DAKOTA STORIES Project was Sponsored in Part By: