Thomas Doran

S/Sgt. Thomas Emmett Doran was assigned to the 459th BG 758th Squadron.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS): Tail Turret.

Thomas Emmett Doran passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. Tom was born Oct. 8, 1921, on a farm in Pioneer, Iowa. His father Joseph died suddenly when he was seven years old. Shortly after that, the family, mother Iva, four sisters and maternal grandfather Thomas Byrne, moved to Humboldt, Iowa. After graduating from high school, Tom moved to Seattle to work for Boeing. He returned home to enlist in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Tom served as a B-24 tailgunner attached to the 459th Bombardment Group stationed at Giulia Airfield in Italy. His squadron completed 35 missions and was one of the few crews selected for solo missions, flying exclusively at night or in bad weather to take advantage of an unsuspecting enemy.

After the war, Tom attended college on the GI bill at St. Ambrose in Davenport, Iowa and the University of Iowa Graduate School. He graduated from the School of Banking in Madison, Wis. Tom moved to Chicago and traveled throughout the Midwest as a Federal Bank Examiner. In Chicago, he met the love of his life, Philomena O’Keefe. They met on a blind date. When Tom saw two attractive nursing students coming down the stairs, he turned to his friend and said, “I hope I get the short one.” His date was the tall one. Tom and Philomena wed on May 9, 1953, and were happily married for 60 years.

The couple moved to La Crosse after Tom became Vice President of Commercial Loans for the First National Bank of La Crosse. He adopted La Crosse as his hometown, serving as a Eucharistic Minister at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Tom was president of local chapters of the Kiwanis Club and Serra Club and was Exalted Ruler of the Elks Club. He served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Greater La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, WWTC, La Crosse Country Club, and The Exchange Club, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

A devout Catholic, Tom lived by the golden rule and taught his children to live with integrity. He believed life was a two way street and he had great “instinct” about people. Tom was a Green Bay packers fan and his love of the team was a lifelong bond with his children.

Tom was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Morrison, Elizabeth Doran, and Margaret Weishaar. Thomas Emmett Doran is survived by his wife Philomena; four children, Maribeth (Jim Brewer), Michael, Patricia (Gerald Shelton), and Tom (Andrea); six grandchildren, Ceili (Bryan Cascarano), Aidan Shaughnessy, Erin Shelton, Michael Shelton, Meara Doran, and Conlin Doran; a great-grandchild, Braeden Thomas Cascarano; a sister, Catherine Gunderson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The Rev. Peter Raj will officiate. Family and friends may call from 10 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to Saint Clare Health Mission or Place of Grace.

Tom was a good husband, father and friend and will be missed.

S/Sgt. Thomas E Doran - 459th BG, Army Air Corps Library and Museum

S/Sgt. Thomas E Doran

Going on RR from Naples Harbor to Capri - 459th BG, Army Air Corps Library and Museum

Going on RR from Naples Harbor to Capri

The following information on Thomas Doran is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on S/Sgt. Doran. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to Thomas Doran's military record please contact us.

Rank Order Date Award




Air Medal (AM)




Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)




Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)




Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

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