Cover photo for Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw, III's Obituary
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1923 Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw, III 2023

Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw, III

December 13, 1923 — November 11, 2023




Fort Worth, TX-Lt. Colonel Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw passed away peacefully, at home and in his sleep on Veterans Day.  His loving daughter, Rustalyn, and his grandson, Trevor, and granddaughter, Alexandra were at his bedside as he began his final journey.

Tom was born in Fernley, Nevada on December 13, 1923 to Harriett Bradshaw and Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw, II. He attended Reno High School, the University of Nevada and the University of Montana.

Tom pursued  three careers during his lifetime, retiring well beyond the age of 65.

He enlisted in the Air Force

in March of 1943 after completing his Cadet training for pilot. He served in WWII flying B-17 Bombers, the Korean Conflict flying B-29 Bombers and served two tours in the Vietnam War flying B-52 Bombers. Among some of his accomplishments in the military were the many medals presented to him. He earned his Purple Heart on his very first mission during WWII. Though wounded by flack, he completed his mission and flew his crew back to base for a safe landing. He was hospitalized and cut loose two days later to do it all over again. Some of his other awards include the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Korean Service Medal with 2 Battle Stars, Combat Readiness, American Defense Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, United Nations Medal, Presidential Unit Citation.

After a distinguished military career, Tom retired in June of 1967 after nearly 25 years of service to his country.

Tom began his second career immediately upon military retirement and flew as Captain on the Boeing 727 for World Airways, based out of Japan, Iran Air, based out of Tehran and also Singapore Airlines, based out of Singapore.

Tom was a life member of TROA, serving as one of its Presidents, MOPH, and MOWW.

Upon retiring from the airlines, Tom surprised everyone by starting his third career ON THE GROUND working for the Civil Service in the U. S. Postal Service division. After nearly 16 years of civil service, it was finally time to retire.  

Tom is survived by his daughters Judith Bradshaw and Rustalyn Lawton, son-in-law Brian Lawton, grandson Trevor Lawton, his wife Daisel, great grandsons Ethan and Lucas; granddaughter Alexandra Lawton,  her fiancée Justin Cicchetti, great grandchildren Rylee, Logan, Jack and Kate; and his stepson Michael Clarke and his wife Allison.

Tom was greatly admired and loved by not only his family but his many, many friends as well. He was loving, kind, generous, and a perfect gentleman. He had a tremendous sense of humor that many will not forget. He was a man of true grit with honesty and integrity above all else.

Tom will be missed greatly.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Jefferson Bradshaw, III, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, November 24, 2023

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery

2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75211

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