Obituary of Thomas Lee Wade
Thomas Lee Wade of Mary Esther, FL passed away on Monday, October 2, 2023.
Tom was born to Richard T. Wade and Annabelle Gibson Wade on May 3, 1947 in Terre Haute, IN. He graduated from Gerstmeyer High School where he played varsity basketball and baseball. As a member of the 1965 undefeated baseball team, he was selected to the Western Indiana Conference first team. He graduated from Indiana State University with a BS degree in mathematics.
Tom joined the Air Force in 1969. He had the good fortune to serve as an aircrew member on two iconic aircraft, the B-52 and the AC-130 Gunship. As a B-52 navigator he had multiple Arc Light deployments to Guam and Thailand. He participated in the December 1972 Line Backer II operation. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross for missions over Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam. Tom transitioned to
the AC-130 Gunship by volunteering for a remote tour of duty in Thailand. As a Gunship fire control officer, he participated in numerous real-world contingencies and joint training exercises. He remained with the Gunship unit when it was reassigned state side to Hurlburt Field, FL. Tom also attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB. After graduating with a MS degree in operations research, he served as a computer hardware analyst for three years at Gunter AFB, AL. After retiring from the Air Force in 1989, he worked for over 21 years as a test engineer at Eglin AFB, FL.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Sumonta, daughter, Nicole; brothers, Steve (Denise) Wade of Indianapolis, IN and Bruce Wade of Terre Haute,
IN; and his sister Rebecca (Glen) Phillips of Lewisville, TX.