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Home >> The 464th in WWII >> The Last Sortie >> Thomas J. Byrnes

The Last Sortie

Thomas J. Byrnes, 779th

2 February 2012

[Photo] Thomas J. Byrnes (779th)

    Thomas J. Byrnes, 94, of Goshen entered into rest with his family around him Thursday, 2 February 2012 at Elant at Goshen in Goshen, New York.
    Thomas graduated from Pace University. He served as a Bombardier and 1st Lieutenant in the the 779th Squadron of the 464th Bombardment Group in the 15th Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Tom retired as Borough Superintendent from the New York Department of Sanitation. Tom was an active member at Annunciation Parish in Crestwood, NY and then at St. John the Evangelist Church in Goshen. He always wanted to be a member of the Knights of Columbus and when he moved to Goshen he achieved that goal.
    Foremost in his life was his family. Tom lived a full life and always put God, family and country first.
    In the words of Frank Sinatra...he did it his way.
    Tom is survived by his four children: Alice B. Morilla and husband, Dr. Carlito Morilla, Jeanette B. Johnson and husband, Martin T. Johnson, Thomas J. Byrnes and wife, Maeve, and Timothy V. Byrnes and wife, Constance; 17 grandchildren: Jennifer M. Hefner, Beth M. Miller, Alyson M. Graves, Amy B. Rouse, Delia M. Luciano, Daniel Morilla, Timothy Morilla, Christian B. Johnson, Jacqueline B. Cox, Erik S. Johnson, Emily E. Johnson, Kate E. Byrnes, Brendan T. Byrnes, Kevin J. Byrnes, Clare E. Byrnes, Meaghan Byrnes and Thomas Byrnes; and 11 great grandchildren with one on the way.
    He was predeceased by his sister, Marie Byrnes, and brother, Raymond Byrnes.
    A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, 4 February 2012 at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church on Murray Ave, Goshen, New York. Burial followed in Orange County Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Goshen. Contributions may be made in Thomas' name to the Knights of Columbus Council 1101, 71 Murray Avenue, Goshen, NY 10924.
    Arrangements under the care of the Donovan Funeral Home, Inc., Goshen, NY.

    Memorial Tribute to Thomas J. Byrnes from the 464th Bomb Group
    When asked to honor a mans life there are so many directions one can go when speaking of a man like Tom. He was many things to many people and loved by all.
    The members of the 464th Bomb Group are saddened by the passing of our member, Tom Byrnes. He was a faithful member and supporter of all the Bomb Group reunions. We will never forget in 2008 in Tucson with over 130 in attendance Tom singing, "I Did It My Way."
    Being part of America's greatest generation Tom knew the events of war in his life was no sacrifice, it was an honor to help provide the opportunity for the future of freedom, and for you and I to sit here in peaceful assembly today, to speak of these things.
    On bright, beautiful, sunny days Tom had a pride, shared along with so many of his comrades, when he looked up into that beautiful azure blue sky he knew they had contributed something enduring and special to be revered throughout the ages. That big blue sky was the royal canopy of a free America, a sky that he and his closest buddies of youth once shared in battle. This was Tom's gift of life to us all, the greatest gift any man can present, the gift of the presentation of his life so you would not know a life of fear ruled by tyranny, but of love and freedom.
    So, when we speak of Tom and men like him may we give reverent pause to reflect that once the sky was filled with warriors, barely beyond the years of a child, who selflessly took up wings to sail upon the air giving everything they had to give in their fragile youth to bless us all with their greatest gift.... FREEDOM!
    Tom, may God lift you up on eagles wings for your last flight and make you soar.
    Thanks Tom....God Bless and Keep You!!

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