William Thomas, phony B17 pilot

| December 19, 2016


Someone sent us their work on this fellow, William Thomas who likes to tell stories about being a B17 pilot during World War II around Northport, New York;

william thomas cowboy outfit  001

The truth is that William joined the Army a year after World War II ended in September, 1946 and he was discharged in December 1949 as a private. It looks like he had more than 90 days of bad time to make up during his service;

William Thomas Discharge

William Thomas Separation Qualification Record

Instead of being a pilot, Private Thomas was a photolab technician for most of his service time, when he wasn’t in the brig or AWOL or whatever the 90 days bad time was. I wonder how many years before the internet existed that he told those stories.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (37)

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  1. Wilted Willy says:

    Another old shit bag! you are a disgrace to your country! And a Cocksucker!

  2. Skippy says:

    Old School all the way


  3. Graybeard says:

    He did get the WWII Victory Medal and an honorable discharge. I suppose he counted as part of the occupation forces while in the states? Don’t know how that happened

    He is just not a pilot.

    About the days lost: I’d need to check what I have of Dad’s paperwork to know how much he lost during WWII (103rd ID) but I know he left as a private – partly due to his penchant for practical jokes and in one case due to his temper. He’d just made Tech Sgt when he went through the chow line and was served “some greasy glop” which he proceeded to throw in the cooks face. I his letter home to my grandmother recounting the event he was not very repentant. He ended the day as a Pvt. Again.

    It could be he piloted himself in while 3 sheets to the wind a few too many times.

    But William Thomas is a liar
    William Thomas is not a pilot
    William Thomas did not fight in WWII

    • Graybeard says:

      Reading closer, he was in England part time – where I expect he earned the WWII Victory Medal.

      Part of aerial photography, he just “forgot” who drove the plane – unless someone let him sit in the copilot’s seat once while underway? He could say he had honestly piloted a plane that way – just not that he was a pilot.

      Trying to understand….

      • Andrew Whorley says:

        Anyone serving in the Army between the start of the war and the official end of hostilities in Dec. 1946 received the award. The war ended in May 1945, but Truman didn’t officially declare the end until later.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Another one, but this one looks like Gabby Hayes. A regular Whitehall Street cowboy. The WW II phonies are getting easier to spot as the actual number of WW II Veterans dwindles, I guess. He did make it to PFC before he returned to PVT. So there’s that. I wonder how many stories he took from “Twelve O’Clock High” and whether he overflew Idaho Beach.

  5. The Other Whitey says:

    Great-Uncle Trevor spent the war at an Army supply depot in Hawaii. You know what he told people he did afterwards? Spent the war at an Army supply depot in Hawaii.

    Great-Uncle Ollie was a mechanic who wrenched on B-17s, and got sent home after being burned in an accidental fire. You what he told people about his injuries? He was a B-17 mechanic who got burned in an accidental fire.

    Great-Uncle Jim was a rifleman in Patton’s 3rd Army from central France to the Austrian border. You know what he said about the war. That he was in the Army in Europe. That’s it.

    Grandpa was a Navy antiaircraft gunner with an impressive list of medals for valor. You know what he said about what he did in the war? That he was on a ship, they went to a lot of places, and sometimes crazy shit would happen and “this one guy, I forget his name” stepped up while Grandpa was ducking for cover. We never knew that “I forget his name” was Grandpa until after he died and my Dad found a box of citations for medals Grandpa didn’t keep.

    So fuck this guy.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I had a Great Uncle who I loved spending time with when I was a kid that was in the Army during the WWII Pacific Campaign and never even mentioned that he served, Period. After he passed away I found out about his WWII Service and that he was in some pretty hairy shit over there and never uttered a word about it, thus my dislike and disdain for any and all posers and/or those who embellish PERIOD, FA’KHEMALL!

  6. OldManchu says:

    Badass marksman badge though.

  7. AnotherPat says:

    What is interesting is that according to this newspaper article published 12 May 2016, William Thomas Jr. is identified as being 90 years old:


    “The ceremony completed with a trumpet performance of “Taps” by WWII veteran William Thomas Jr., 90.

    “It’s an honor to partake in the ceremony. I thought it was amazing,” Thomas, of East Northport, said. Thomas, who was a WWII B-17 pilot in the U.S. Army Corps, added, “Playing ‘Taps,’ to me, is an honor. It brings back so many memories of my service in the military.”

    Yet, according to his records posted here, he was born on 24 January 1929, which means next month in 2017 he will turn the young age of 88.

    Makes me wonder if he told the reporter he was 90 years old.

    • thetruthbetold says:

      reporters are supposed to check info given. if you ask his neighbors – he plays taps and reveille 20-30x a day from 7 am to 11 pm to harass everyone and pretends he is honoring vets when he is phony himself.

  8. Slick Goodlin says:

    Nice pilot’s, “Fifty Mission Crush”, on that service cap though.

  9. Forest Green says:

    He was at 10,000 ft after sniffing all those developer fumes.

  10. Claw says:

    “I wonder how many years before the internet existed that he told those stories.”

    Well, let’s see. He was discharged on 26 Dec 49, so he started telling those stories on 27 Dec 49 and Al Gore says he invented the internet sometime in 1983, so roughly about 33/34 years sounds about right, doesn’t it?

    Add another 33 or so years after the internet to present day and we come up with damn near close to 67 years of telling lies.

    Added note: re the WWII Victory Medal from a post above. He got one because he enlisted prior to 31 Dec 46 when Truman declared the official end to hostilities. The WWII Victory Medal was pretty much the WWII equivalent of the NDSM.

  11. ex-OS2 says:

    Toothless cocksucker.

  12. AnotherPat says:

    There could be the possibility that this William Thomas, JR “stole” the identity of a REAL B17 Co-Pilot, LT William H. Thomas, Jr. who was KIA in Germany in 1945, was from Yonkers, NY, with his last unit in England and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery:


    “LT Thomas was a copilot aboard B-17’s in the ETO. He served at RAF Debach, Station 152, with the 863rd Bomb Squadron, 493rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force. The base was located near Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.

    His last mission was # 124 over Steinhagen, Germany.

    During the mission, the aircraft, B-17G (#43-39050) was set upon by German fighter aircraft, causing number 2 engine to catch fire which the crew was unable to extinguish; causing it to drop behind the formation. The aircraft came down in Hildesheim, Germany (south of Hannover).

    This is the Crash Report: https://www.fold3.com/page/285790397_crash_of_b17_4339050_macr_12886#description

    And his burial site at Arlington (RIP, LT Thomas)


    • fibmcgee1 says:

      From a News article Oct 15, 1948:
      “STANDING IN FRONT of an oil portrait of her late father, Mary Cassandra Thomas, 3, of Yonkers, N. Y., accept the air medal he won for heroism during the war.

  13. Green Thumb says:

    Just another old, gnarly turd.

  14. Blaster says:

    Is that Si from Duck Dynasty?

  15. John D says:

    So sick of this crap.

    Since we’re never gonna run out of these guys, how about a moratorium

    Until say, 02 January.

    Going to go back and read Ex-PH2’s post.
    Never knew how many of you yahoos were so fond of kitty cats (notice I didn’t say “pussy”. With exception to the fair ladies aboard, the rest of you are a bunch of pussy hounds, excepting Lars)- gave me the warm and

    Merry Christmas!

  16. OWB says:

    That is one disgusting thing pictured above.

    Wouldn’t anyone who could be honored simply to play TAPS for an event? Not this one. He had to display a thoroughly dishonorable caricature of an US Army veteran. No excuse for it.

    Why pretend to something he is not? Kudos for running about in public looking like a clown? He obviously has at least one lose screw to even appear in public looking like that.

    On behalf of those I knew who actually DID fly those old B-17’s, shame on you, William Thomas.

    • thetruthbetold says:

      according to neighbors he played trumpet day and night to harass an elderly lady next door who was dying of cancer – opened his window and blasted her with taps and reveille until she died. her daughter had to move away. yes shame on him

  17. 26Limabeans says:

    I have more time in a B-17 than this guy.
    I actually had the pleasure of flying with my dad in one before he passed. He was a gunner/togglier and I hope this guy is prepared to meet him at the gate with a damn good explanation.

  18. Starbux says:

    Guy comes back from England. At some point joins the VFW or AL. Hears the stories of his cohorts who actually fought over there. Feels left out or marginalized because he has nothing to share. Got away with it for over 70 years. Now he meets the internet. He probably to told this bullshit to his family. When he passes they will think he was a hero all this time and now they will have the revelation that they had been lied to all of these years.

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    The one thing that catches these people and trips them is details. What was the name of the plane he flew? What was the nose art? And who were the crew members? That should all be on record. Anyone who flew those big old taildraggers would have answers to those questions.

  20. David Pomeroy says:

    What’s up with his SAC patch on the shoulder? Way after his time!

  21. NSE says:

    My Grandpa flew 70 missions over Europe. All, all his buddies died. He COULDN’T talk about it. This matters to me in 2017. RIP Grandpa Mac’s long lost buddies.

  22. NSE says:

    I do know his crewmate died from flak over the target and so that was one of Grandpa’s return flights. Vallor for both men in one sentence.

  23. Matteo M says:

    Wow, finally someone found his records. “Blackie” as he is known locally, was indeed a pilot. Maybe not in the war, but in pre and post war times. He is also very much a “black sheep”. I knew him for years and spent time trying to get to find out more about his service. It was pretty obvious to most of us that he had mental issues. His service info was always hard to get him to talk about and seemed off whenever he did put something out there. The uniform jacket and cap are gifts from myself about 10 years ago. I got them for him so he could wear them to events I’d take him too. He has nothing left from those days but a few post war pictures. So I had nothing to reference as far as actual service. It’s sad to read of this lying he’s done, but from all the civilian/ family stories he’s told me it’s been a hard life since day 1. If those were true anyway. God only knows. But I’m thinking those crazy drinking stories were not lies. He could still drink like a horse 10 years ago. I bet the alcohol abuse had something to do with his storytelling. Sad stuff.