Thomas W. Sefton, born on October 8, 1917 in New York, New York. Orphaned at a young age, he was adopted by Helen and Joseph W. Sefton. Thomas was then raised in the city of San Diego, California and resided in Point Loma suburbs. After graduating high school, Thomas started to accumulate flying hours at Speer Field with small planes. By 1938, Thomas started working at the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank where his father was President. He was a messenger until 1941 until he relocated at a near-by aviation plant. In 1942, Thomas left the aviation plant to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. He trained for many months across California and neighboring states until he was assigned to troop carrier work, which sent him to Italy, on assignment in the Mediterranean. He was honorably discharged in July 1946, having achieved the rank of Captain.
When Thomas returned to San Diego, he resumed working at the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank as the President’s assistant. He then married to Donna Knox, daughter of then San Diego City Mayor Harley E. Knox on April 15, 1951. Thomas became President of the family-operated bank after his father retired. He has been awarded with titles such as Mr. San Diego (1972), and Executive of the Year (1961). He was also involved with various institutions around Balboa Park. Since his death in 2006, his family still runs San Diego Trust and Savings.
In this collection, there are a variety of documents including personal memorabilia. Of note, there are documents to and from Thomas W. Sefton regarding his work in the US Air Corps and his job as a President at the San Diego Bank and Trust, and airline memorablia.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is a proud member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 26 arts, science, and cultural institutions in San Diego's Balboa Park. Learn more at www.bpcp.org.