CORPORAL THOMAS P. FLAHERTY was born December 9, 1915 in New Jersey to Patrick J. and Margeret T. Flaherty. In 1920 the Flaherty family owned a home at 705 Clinton Street in Camden NJ, by the time of the 1930 census, the family had bought a home at nearby 445 Carteret Street. There were at least seven other Flaherty children, Anna M., Timothy, James F., Marguerite, and Joseph, who were older, and Francis and Marion who were younger. Another younger brother, John Jr. had passed away in the 1920s. Patrick J. Flaherty worked as a glazier in a leather works in Camden, and by 1930 the four older children were all employed in various business or industries in Camden. Thomas Flaherty attended Camden High School and Camden Catholic High School, and he starred in football at both schools and at basketall at Camden Catholic. After graduating from Camden High in January of 1934 he attended the University of South Carolina and graduated after transferring to St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia. He played football at both colleges.
Thomas Flaherty was inducted into the Army in April of 1942. He was assigned to a detachment of the 881st Chemical Company, Air Operations, which serviced a bomber group of the the 8th Air Force in England. It is likely that his was one of the Chemical Companies, Air Operations, that trained at H. Smart Field near Macon GA, before going overseas, in May of 1943.
Corporal Thomas P. Flaherty was killed in a plane crash on the Isle of Man on April 23, 1945.
Corporal Flaherty was brought home after the war. He was buried at Calvary Cemetery in what was them Delaware Township (present day Cherry Hill) NJ in July of 1948. He rests next to his parents, sister Anna, and brother, the Reverend Timothy Flaherty.
|Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger - 1934|
Bunker - Thomas
P. Flaherty - Paul
William E. Kelly - Martin Odlen - Joseph R. Guarino
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H. (Herbert) Smart Field is located in Bibb County, Georgia, approximately 2 miles east of Macon. The facility was the result of President Roosevelt's, Works Progress Administration and its effort to revive a troubled economy. The airport was named after Mayor Herbert Smart "who struggled to keep the city from financial ruin" during the depression years.
In the World War 11 period on 390.34 leased acres, the government constructed a landing field utilized by the U.S. Army Air Force as a training area. The site, now known as the Herbert Smart Airport, was comprised of numerous structures, including a hangar, several latrines, post office, classrooms, mess hall, supply rooms, etc. These building structures were scattered near three each taxiways and runways, and off the airport in an administration and living (cantonment) sector.
In November 1941, headquarters was established at the Herbert Smart Airport in a tent (then Macon's Municipal Airport). At this time, the site was located 7 miles east of Macon and adjoined Camp Wheeler. Camp Wheeler was a permanent military camp that contributed in both World Wars. Initially, an air depot was to be constructed in Wellston, GA, however there were no available facilities, so Herbert Smart was to suffice temporarily. On January 7, 1942 the airport was turned over to the government. The airport also served as the first subordinate installation of Warner Robbins Air Service Command which was originally the Wellston Air Depot. The government constructed many improvements at the site. These improvements included a hangar, office quarters, mess hall, power and light systems and paving improvements. The government spent a million dollars in transforming the site into a military base.
The first troops at Herbert Smart were those of the 4th Air Depot group in the period of September- December 1941. However, due to Pearl Harbor they only stayed until the 20th of December. On December 6, 1941 the 5th Air Depot group arrived and were later joined by 200 enlisted men from Brookley Field, Mobile, Alabama. Herbert Smart then became a chemical troop training center. From September 24 to October 4, 1942, twenty-five (25) Air Operations companies arrived at Herbert Smart (none were activated at the airport). The height of troop strength came during October when 3200 men were stationed at the base. The strength capacities of these companies varied and some had to be reduced in order to bolster the weaker companies. These original chemical companies had lacked adequate officer strength. In November of 1942, 35 Chemical Warfare Service officers from the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, arrived at Herbert Smart. On December 8, 1942, 80 Second Lieutenants were transferred to this station from the Chemical Warfare Service Replacement Pool at Edgewood Arsenal.
The purpose of the base through 1943 was to train troops in chemical warfare with reference to air operations activity. The training unit was known as chemical company air operations.
Between April and November of 1943 many chemical companies received orders to leave for Point of Embarkation. At first the men left with their chemical equipment, but after September they left with only their "housekeeping equipment". The supply agency soon became overloaded and at one time, one man was responsible for 98 trailers and 139 trucks. During 1943 Herbert Smart witnessed a gradual decrease in the numbers of its men. On September 26, 1943, 1200 troops went to Camp Kilmer, NJ. By the end of 1943, 14 chemical companies, air operations, had been trained and equipped at Herbert Smart and departed this station for a point of embarkation.
During the first few months of 1944, chemical activity continued on a lesser scale. After chemical companies had left, the station was still receiving trucks and trailers. On January 2, 1944 the 803rd Chemical Company Air Operations left for an Italian campaign. Between January, February and March of 1944, 6 chemical companies remained to train. The last air operation company was the 870th, which left on May 16th to Barksdale Field, Louisiana; and the last chemical aviation company left on April 10th, 1944