Thomas C. Lampsa

Tom’s sister Linda Tyssen writes:  “First Lt. Thomas Charles Lampsa was the co-pilot of a C-123 troop carrier that crashed near Payette, Idaho, on Oct. 9, 1958, killing all 19 on board. He was 25 when he died. After graduating from the Academy, he was commissioned in the Air Force and trained at Marana Air Force Base in Arizona.  Tom — we called him Tommy — earned his silver wings and pilot’s rating at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma.  Flying was his passion.


He grew up near Biwabik on northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, amid beautiful pine trees in a little log house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. He was exceptionally bright in many fields, and never lost his love of the outdoor life, hunting and fishing. He was engaged to Kathy Simon of Baltimore, Md., at the time of his death. Our father, Thomas Lampsa, died on Oct. 9, 1973 — ironically, 15 years to the day after his son had died. Our mother, Ailie Lampsa, is 96 years old and still in relatively good health. I am 14 years younger than my brother Tommy and our brother, Larry, is 19 years younger. One of my fondest memories is attending the graduation from the Academy with my mother — I was 9 years old and can remember so vividly the hats tossed into the air. My brother took me on board one of the big ships. We have saved all of his memorabilia from his USNA and Air Force days.”