J. Thomas Gwynne, Grumman Test Pilot – Flight No. 72

Tom Gwynne was born and raised on Staten Island, New York. He attended the Staten Island Academy and subsequently Brown University where he graduated with a B.A. degree majoring in International Relations.

Following graduation from Brown University, Tom was commissioned an officer in the United States Air Force and attended pilot training in Alabama. He served as an F-4 Phantom fighter pilot for six years, including a combat tour in Vietnam where he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and ten Air Medals.

Tom left the Air Force and on January 27, 1969 joined the Grumman Corporation as a consultant on the Apollo Program. In 1972 he joined the Flight Test Department in Calverton and spent the next 15 years as a pilot for Grumman’s tactical aircraft production line, test flying the F-14 Tomcat, A-6 Intruder, EA-6B Prowler, EF-111 Raven, OV-1 Mohawk, and Gulfstream III aircraft.

On July 6, 1979, Tom performed first flight on F-14A (160902) shop number 331, the very aircraft that has become the centerpiece of Grumman Memorial Park.

In 1989 Tom was appointed Director of Flight Operations at Calverton and held that position until 1994 when left to become Operations Manager for Grumman’s St. Augustine, Florida facility. He retired from Northrop Grumman in early 1997.

Tom returned to New York and in July of 1997 was appointed Senior Planning Manager for the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field, New York. The museum was closed for several years and Tom guided it through its expansion and major renovations. Prior to the grand opening on May 20, 2002, Tom was appointed Vice President for External Relations for the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
All of us at Grumman Memorial Park wish both the "Cradle" and Tom all the best.