Thomas Claiborne Thigpen

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Thomas Claiborne Thigpen

November 22, 1952

Thomas Claiborne Thigpen was born in the small Hancock County Community of Santa Rosa on December 31, 1930. He died on November 22, 1952 on Colony Glacier in Alaska. The Air Force plane he and fifty-one other service members were passengers on board when the plane crashed killing all on board.

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The wreckage was covered by hundreds of feet of snow and ice. It was discovered by the Alaska Air National Guard in 2012. The process of identifying the remains has been ongoing since the discovery. At this time, forty-five of the service members have been identified.

Claiborne was mourned by his parents, Tom and Delilah Thigpen; his siblings, Myrtle Thigpen Mitchell, Dolph Thigpen, Myree Thigpen Craft Mitchell, Ethel Thigpen Patch and Rayford Thigpen.

Claiborne has been missed by his twelve nephews, David Mitchell, Sidney Mitchell, Gary Mitchell, Billy Wayne Thigpen, Benny Thigpen, Bobby Thigpen, Cecil Craft, Jimmy Craft and Mike Craft, Glenn Patch, Burrell Patch and Gerald Patch; his four nieces, Shelby Jean Mitchell Watkins, Elaine Thigpen Jackson, Claudia Thigpen Stiglich, and Janice Patch Mitchell.

Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 10:00 am at McDonald Funeral Home Chapel.

Visitation will be Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from 9:30 am until 10:00 am at McDonald Funeral Home.

Burial will be in Memorial Gardens Cemetery under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.

Chaplain Angel Aquino will officiate the service and he will be assisted by Captain Stephen W. Stiglich USAF Retired .

The family would like to thank the Air Force Recovery Team and the Air Force Mortuary Affairs staff, Electa Thompkins and Trevor Bean; Herring Ford for providing group transportation for the family to New Orleans International Airport; Memorial Gardens Cemetery for all of their help in providing a burial place near Claiborne’s parents; and a special thank you to Ann and Steve McDonald, Steve Rodgers, Kenny McDonald, Chris Stockstill, and the staff at McDonald Funeral Home for their unwavering attention to detail in bringing our Uncle home.

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