February 11, 1918 – January 6, 2013
COL. FRANKLIN (TOMMY) TOMLINSON, U.S.A.F. RET.
Franklin Eugene Tomlinson, “Tommy”, 94, died peacefully in his sleep January 6, 2013 in Vero Beach, Florida. He was born February 11, 1918 in Montclair, New Jersey and was 1 of 5 siblings, all of whom are predeceased. He was also predeceased in death by his loving wife, Dorothy Blauvelt Tomlinson. Tommy attended Montclair High School, the Hun School, and later Dartmouth College. His impressive military career began in 1940 when he enlisted in the Army Air Core as an Aviation Cadet. After basic training he was assigned to the B-24 “Liberator” training in Tucson, Arizona and later became the Squadron Commander of the 454 Group where he flew 27 missions. On his final mission, the aircraft encountered heavy flak which necessitated a forced bailout of the entire crew. At that point they were far into German territory and even with three engines out, Tommy was able to get the bomber back into neutral Swiss air space. The entire crew survived and because of his heroic actions, Tommy was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was also the recipient of the Purple Heart and Air Medal with Clusters, Commendation Medal - American Campaign, American Defense Medal - European Campaign, and the WWII Victory Medal. In 1945 Tommy was assigned as Military Air Attaché to Denmark. During this appointment, he was knighted by the King of Denmark with the Knight of Dannerbrog for saving the life of King Christian X of Denmark and the royal family. He retired as a Colonel in 1960, moved his family to Miami, Florida, and became a stock broker with Dean Witter, formerly Hayden Stone. He was an avid golfer, enjoyed offshore fishing and he and Dottie enjoyed traveling the world. They were residents of Mariner Sands in Stuart, FL and enjoyed a summer home at Beech Mountain, North Carolina. After the passing of his dear Dottie, he moved to Vero Beach and soon became a resident of Indian River Estates. He was a member of the Community Church of Vero Beach. Tommy is survived by his daughter, Lynn T. Potter and son-in-law Lawrence R. Potter of Landrum, South Carolina; son Robert L. Tomlinson and daughter-in-law Jane of Monte Verde, FL; grandson Lawrence Potter, Jr., wife Jodi and great grandson Lawrence Potter, III of Jupiter, FL. The family wishes to extend its appreciation to the staff of Indian River Estates for their devoted attention and care of Tommy throughout his long residency. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Community Church of Vero Beach 1901 23rd Street Vero Beach, FL 32960. You are flying at a much higher altitude today with the Lord as your co-pilot. We love you. You were a hero and a legend!
Friends may visit the online guest book at www.aycock-hillcrest.com Arrangements are under the care of Aycock Funeral Home Ft Pierce, Florida.