Thomas Edmund Cahill passed away on February 18 in Atascadero. Tom was born on August 15, 1946, in San Jose. He grew up in Long Island, N.Y.
He enlisted in the army in 1966 and finished OCS.
In 1968, upon finishing flight school, he was assigned as flight section leader, company training officer and flight safety officer in an assault helicopter unit enroute to Vietnam. In the spring of 1968, he was 1st Lieutenant Section Leader of A Company, 158th AHB, 101st Airborne Division (the original Ghost Riders). Soon he was Platoon Leader of the 173rd AHC (the original Robinhoods), and he led many combat assaults. He was 22 years old.
Tom’s service was marked as decorated and honorable. He received several awards and medals for outstanding and meritorious service.
Tom was then assigned to Germany as flight operations officer. He was selected as personal pilot to the Assistant Division Commander and was assigned airfield commander. He was released from active duty at the rank of Captain in 1971. Tom traveled in Europe for one year. He left the service with the rank of Captain.
Back home, in the United States, he enrolled at the New York School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League. Later, Tom earned a Technical Illustrator Diploma from El Camino Community College. He worked at Pandick, LA, McDonnell Douglas, and Continental Graphics. He moved to the Central Coast in 1989 with his wife, Ruth, and his only son Thomas.
His passions included painting and writing.
A memorial service will be held on July 9 at 3 p.m., at the Atascadero Gospel Chapel.