Niobrara County Library - Lt. Thomas E. Lasater (December 17, 1934 - April 1, 1959)

Lt. Thomas E. Lasater (December 17, 1934 - April 1, 1959)

The Lusk Herald
April 9, 1959

Lt. Thomas E. Lasater Killed in Mysterious Air Force Plane Crash

First Lt. Thomas E. Lasater, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herb Lasater of Lance Creek, was killed in a mysterious plane crash five miles southeast of Sumner, Wash. the night of April 1.

Lt. Lasater was copilot of the four engine plane. It was piloted by First Lt. Robert R. Dimick, 26, of Bowling Green, Ohio. Others killed in the crash were T-Sgt. Guy Cunningham, 27, flight engineer and Sgt. Arthur T. Foote, 44, flight engineer, West Palm Beach, Fla.

At first, it was thought the crash occurred because of a mid-air collision but investigators have not been able to find trace of another plane. Seconds before the crash the pilot radioed "we have hit something or something has hit us." Then he began calling mayday, the international distress signal. A moment later said "this is it."

Memorial services for Lt. Lasater and three other crew members killed in the crash were to be held in Tacoma, Washington Tuesday.

The remains will be brought to Casper for interment and funeral services there will be held the latter part of the week. Lt. Lasater is survived by his widow, who is
expected to arrive here Wednesday, April 8, and his brother Jim Lasater, of Casper, as well as his parents.

Those wishing to contribute to a memorial fund in lieu of flowers are asked to contact Mrs. Lester Meade, Mrs. William Fredrickson, or Mrs. Fred Sheaman.

Wash. and Casper Services Held For Lt. Lasater
The Lusk Herald, April 16, 1959

Memorial services for First Lieutenant Thomas E. Lasater and his fellow crew members killed in an airplane crash April 1, were held in Chapel No. 1 at McChord Air Force Base, Washington April 7.

The small white church was filled to capacity with service men, their wives and civilians. Behind the chaplain and pulpit, extending the full width of the chapel, a narrow white-clothed table held a large silver cross, open bible, and flowers lending a background of simple but holy beauty to the services.

During the tribute of honor, Lieutenant Colonel Clayton Findlay, 33rd Air Transport squadron, pointed out the fact that young men on training missions are in the service of their country the same as those in combat--their supreme sacrifice the same, whether in war or peace.. At the close of the service, wives of the copilot and pilot were presented with the Air Force flags.

Thomas Edward, son of Herbert and Mary Lasater, was born at Brandeville, Mo. December 17, 1934. He professed Christ at the age of 10 and attended Lance Creek Community Church. He attended Lance Creek Grade School and Casper Junior College. He entered the Air Force in November, 1955, and after receiving his wings and Second Lieutenant Commission March 28, 1957 at Reese Air Force Base, he was assigned to McChord Air Force , on the Military Air Transport Service.

October 26,1957, he and Martha Louise Dean were married at Houston, Texas. Survivors include his wife, parents, and a brother, James W. Lasater, of Casper. An infant brother preceded in in death on January 26,1939.

Funeral services were held from the Bustard Funeral Home in Casper at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 11, with Reverend William Fredrickson of Lance Creek, officiating.

Mrs. Catherine Newell was organist for Kenneth Moore, who sang "The Lord's Prayer", and "God Will Take Care of You.:"
Pallbearers were Albert Johnson, Eddied Strube, Jack Hammond, Galen Linville, Lester Nelson, John Stiles, all close friends of the deceased.Interment was in Memorial Gardens, Casper.

Out of town friends and relatives attending the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Uphaus, Mrs. Shirley Cochran and Janet Lasater, of West Plains, Mo., B.E. Bartley, Springfield, Mo., G.E. Bartley.

Related Obituaries:

Mary H. Lasater (September 19, 1901 - November 15, 1987)

Related Birth Records:

Related Historical Entries:

Veteran History by George Flint

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