(Albany, NY)- State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope) is pleased to announce that Delhi resident, Thomas Morley, Jr. has been selected as his 2018 NY State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame inductee. Mr. Morley and other veterans from across NY State were honored at a ceremony in Albany today, May 15.
Thomas J. “Tailspin” Morley Jr. was born December 9, 1949, in Astoria, Queens. After graduating from high school in 1967, he attended Pace College for a year but desired to serve his country in the Vietnam War. Having successfully completed the Army Flight Aptitude test, he was sworn into the Army and upon successful completion of his training, Tom was appointed Warrant Officer 1st Class (WO1) and received his orders for Vietnam.
On August 24th, 1970 while preparing for a routine mission, Morley was advised of a downed scout aircraft. Upon arriving, he observed the downed helicopter on its side. After three attempts to hover down through the canopy proved unsuccessful, a medevac Huey was summoned. While hovering and attempting to extract the survivors, the enemy opened heavy fire on the helicopters. The crew chief of the downed helicopter began to return fire, as did Morley’s crew chief. Having sustained 43 bullet hits, the hovering medevac aircraft was able to move a ½ mile away to a clearing and make a successful forced landing; then Morley landed beside them, transferred and airlifted the dead and wounded directly to Long Binh Army Evac Hospital. Voluntarily returning to the crash site, Morely coordinated a second medevac aircraft and the removal of the remaining crew survivors.
Morley was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Dec 1 1970, and during his one year, tour in Vietnam flew over 300 combat missions accumulating more than 1,296 hours of flying time. After Vietnam, he returned to civilian life and Pace University to complete his degree. He joined the Active Army Reserves and subsequently the NYANG maintaining his flying status. Upon his separation from the service in 2008, Thomas Morley had attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4.
In Jan 1974, Thomas Morley became a NYS Trooper working 25 years between Troop K and Troop C. Trooper Morley retired in May 1999.
“It is an honor to induct Thomas Morley into the New York Senate Veterans Hall of Fame,” said Senator Bonacic. “His service record in the Army was exemplary, and he continued serving his community as a New York State Trooper. I commend him for a job well done.”