Centenary of Thomas Francis

Thomas Francis O’Loughlin, Jr. born March 1920:

Tom was raised in Hartford, Connecticut.

He was sent to Loomis Preparatory, an exclusive school now Loomis-Chaffee in Windsor, CT. This was followed by his studies at Harvard, graduating from there in 1942.

Tom then moved to Midshipman School at Columbia University, becoming Regimental Commander of the USNR Midshipmen Class of February 1943.

Left, Lt. Tom O’Loughlin at the binoculars, watching the landing unfold. Center, Gen. George Kenney, right, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, October, 1944 during the invasion of Leyte Gulf, the greatest Naval battle in history. Image: US National Archives and Records Administration.

He was selected as an officer on USS Nashville, which was Gen. MacArthur’s flagship during the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. An official photo shows Tom with senior commanders on board USS Nashville, October 1944.

Tom survived a kamikaze attack. He was selected as a bomb-disposal and damage-control officer, a vital role on warships crammed with men, fuel and ammunition.

Thomas O’Loughlin with J Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI

Following WW II, he attended Law School and entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he became involved in counter-espionage as Special Agent for the Director, J. Edgar Hoover.

The Kennedy administration selected Tom as lead-planner for all special operations at the Pentagon, following the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

He worked directly with US Joint Chiefs, which permitted access to “Top Secret” clearance.  He planned special operations in the Vietnam war and elsewhere.

The sudden onset of cancer in 1970, which metastasised quickly, led to his death at the early age of fifty one (June 6th 1971). The “war” between CIA and the Old Navy/FBI, a struggle for power and control during and after the administration of President Kennedy, likely hastened his premature death.

John OLoughlin, son of the late Thomas Francis, has been central to our clan-developments since 1995. During 2006 he added music to our 17th century boat-poem, Bless-the-Boat. (See also the Song and Dance page>). John, Marcia and The Fahy family of North Clare presented a musical rendition of Bless-the-Boat to those assembled for the clan reunion at The Whitethorn restaurant, on the southern side of Galway Bay during September 2010.

On March 21, 2020, John and a group of friends gathered to celebrate Tom’s 100th Birthday. John is using this year to study Tom’s career and hopefully publish a biography.

–   Thanks to John O’Loughlin, Maryland, USA

About edward ologhlen

Provide periodic newsletters for the international Clan, Muintir Uí Lochlainn and have a particular interest in ensuring our various members have an opportunity to record their emigration-stories, through the printed word.
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3 Responses to Centenary of Thomas Francis

  1. doro says:

    For all those who want to enjoy the legacy of Tom O’Laughlin, join his son’s youtube channel —McDuff Kennedy’s Man to Smash the CIA. You will find the heart of Tom in his son’s quest to identify the culprits in his father’s death, as well as the ongoing destruction of our republic. Tom’s courage has been completely passed on to his son.


  2. Kath Hsu says:

    Really nice!
    Thanks, John,


  3. Andrew Kreig says:

    This is a beautiful and evocative tribute. Thank you. And, in the spirit of such extraordinary civic spirit of father and son alike, it stands as a call to action.


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