Thomas D. Fantom Jr., civil engineer

He had been a World War II veteran of the Army Air Forces

August 04, 2014|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Thomas D. Fantom Jr., a retired civil engineer and World War II Army Air Forces veteran, died July 23 at Arden Courts in Pikesville of complications from a fall. He was 91.

The son of Thomas D. Fantom Sr., a civil engineer, and Alice E. Fantom, a homemaker, Thomas Davis Fantom Jr. was born on Palmer Avenue in the city's Pimlico neighborhood, and moved with his family to Granite during the Depression. He was a 1940 graduate of Catonsville High School.

Mr. Fantom enlisted in the Army Air Forces the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Trained as a fighter pilot, he was initially assigned to the 73rd Fighter Squadron in Oahu, Hawaii, and then was reassigned to the 86th Observation Squadron, where he primarily flew B-24 Liberators on reconnaissance, combat mapping and bomb damage assessment missions.

As a member of the 17th Tow Target Squadron, he flew Martin AT23Bs on tow target missions that were used to train airborne gunnery cadets.

Mr. Fantom was discharged in 1945 with the rank of captain.

He was a 1950 graduate of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton, Mich.

Mr. Fantom began his career as project manager working in Baltimore for the Raymond Concrete Pile Corp. He oversaw construction in 1955 of Texas Towers, which were Distance Early Warning Line radar stations, off the coast of Massachusetts.

In 1965, he joined the firm of Cummins and Hart, a Baltimore industrial and commercial engineering firm, where his projects included a multimillion-dollar furnace installation at Armco Steel Corp.'s East Biddle Street plant and the erection of the United Steel Workers Union Hall on North Point Boulevard.

In 1967, he succeeded his father as president of Cummins and Hart. Six years later, he joined the firm of R.S. Noonan Inc. in York, Pa., where he oversaw the renovation of City College and the building of the new Baltimore County Courthouse in Towson.

Mr. Fantom joined the Perini Corp. in San Francisco, where he worked until retiring in 1982. He then lived in Vancouver, Wash., and later Chambersburg, Pa.

Plans for services are incomplete.

Mr. Fantom is survived by his wife of 39 years, the former Catherine McNamara; a brother, John Fantom of Glen Arm; a sister, Doris Puente of Rising Sun; and many nieces and nephews.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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