This collection consists of the World War II Air Medal awarded posthumously to 2nd Lt. Thomas E. Bartmess, in its embossed black leather case marked “Air Medal.”
Conditions Governing Access
This material is open for research.
Stored onsite in the vault at the Woodson Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish information from the Thomas E. Bartmess World War II Air Medal must be facilitated through the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
Biographical / Historical
The Thomas E. Bartmess Air Medal was presented posthumously to his widow, Eleanor Bartmess (who became Eleanor Riordan in May 1948). The medal was one of four presented to wartime aviators’ family members at a November 3, 1943, ceremony at Ellington Field. The four men were at the time listed as casualties of World War II aerial combat. Lt. Bartmess had been killed; the other three were prisoners of war.
Thomas Bartmess was a Houston native and a graduate of San Jacinto High School and Rice Institute. He was a member of the class of 1940 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was navigator on the Liberator “Little Beaver” from October 1942 until the time of his death. He was first reported missing after the Allied raid on Kiel and other Belgian cities but was later reported as having been killed in action.
-source: “Women Given Awards for Men Listed as Casualties” by Flora Gordon Shoss, The Houston Post, Nov. 7, 1943.
The collection consists of a bronze military medal and ribbon in their original velvet-lined black leather box. It was awarded to 2nd Lt. Thomas E. Bartmess and presented posthumously to his widow, Eleanor Bartmess, on November
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was a gift donated by Eleanor Bartmess (who became Mrs. Riordan in May 1948).
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Thomas E. Bartmess World War II Air Medal Collection, MS 086, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/84 Accessed December 02, 2023.