Robert Joseph Di TommasoLieutenant Colonel
388TH CBT SPT GRP, 388TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
07 August 1941 - 21 March 1979
Buffalo, New York
Panel 09E Line 086
The database page for Robert Joseph Di Tommaso
I would like to dedicate this site to the memory of Robert's mother...
She was a great lady!
I first learned about Robert Di Tommaso in the early 1980's, when I had the pleasure of meeting his mother, Malfada, on several occasions. She was a good friend of my ex-husband, Eugene, who worked with some Viet Nam Vets in Buffalo, NY. She was a great lady, and was totally dedicated to finding her Bobby. In a 1988 interview for the Buffalo News, she stated,
"You gotta keep on the go all the time and it costs a lot of money."
She was explaining her continuing efforts to find and bring Bobby home. She supported most of these efforts with her social security checks. She was 75 at the time, and recently home from her trip to Hawaii in which she was to welcome Bobby home. He wasn't there, nor were his remains, or any new information. Malfada Di Tommaso died March 20, 1991, never knowing what happened to her beloved son.
Please visit my
I, too, wore Bobby's MIA bracelet back in the 70's and 80's. I have the original copy of the picture shown on this memorial page. His mother sent it to me with one of her letters. I was just a teenager then, still in high school, but still have her notes and cards that always ended with the same phrase, "Pray for Peace". I have three sons now, all in their 20's, and I find myself still thinking of Bobby.
This morning as I got ready for work and was gathering my watch and rings from my jewelry box his bracelet caught my eye and I picked it up and put it on.
Don't ever forget.
I don't know what inspired me to search the internet today for Robert Di Tomasso ... I have thought about him for over 30 years, remembering the POW Bracelet I purchased for $10.00. I wore it religiously until it snapped in two pieces where it laid for countless years.
My brother was the age for the Draft and I recall being afraid and sad that his number would be called. Purchasing the bracelet was my way of being a part of things in the early '70's. I don't know what became of my bracelet - but more importantly the man who it was dedicated to. I am shocked but happy to have found this page in his honor. I never knew anything about him or his family but NEVER forgot his name. I wish I could obtain another bracelet to wear in his honor until he is returned home.
I will write to my congressman today in honor of Robert Di Tomasso and his commrades who have yet returned to our soil. Thank you, Janet, for keeping his story and spirit alive.
Cynthia San Julian
I have kept Bob's bracelet in my jewelry box all these years too. I wore it so long that it finally broke into two halves from the bending needed to remove it and put it back on again. I then taped it on the underside so I could still wear it.
I was 21 years old when I got the bracelet in 1969 and have lived in the Buffalo area all my life. Bobby was only 24 at that time and was a local boy so it hit home for me.
Now we are in another unpopular war, and my son is 21 yrs. I am glad there is no draft, but fear for the boys and men fighting so far away.
Deborah (Winegarden) Leonard
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 29 July 1966 an RC-47D intelligence collection aircraft (tail number 43-48388) crewed by
There are a number of uncertainties regarding this flight:
In any case, none of the eight returned with the POWs in February 1973, and over time the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for all eight - Di Tommaso on 21 March 1979.
In 1988, the remains of five of the eight crewmen were repatriated and identified; Hoskinson, Bossio, and Di Tommaso, however, have not come home.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 May 2000
Last updated 03/15/2008