Joliet Township High School Alumnus William T. (Tom) Bayha Inducted into US Army's OCS Hall of Fame

JTHS Alumnus (’55) Retired Lieutenant Colonel William T. (Tom) Bayha was inducted on May 4, 2020 into the US Army's Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame. The OCS Hall of Fame is permanently located at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia, and honors OCS graduates of all Army branches for exceptional heroism or distinguished service to the nation.

Bayha graduated from Infantry OCS in 1959 as the Honor Graduate of that year and was recognized for his highly classified wartime service with US Special Forces in Laos and Vietnam and as an Asian-area specialist. He holds a BA degree in Asian Studies from the University of Southern California and graduated twice with honors from the Defense Language Institute in both Chinese and Japanese. He also graduated with honors from the Army's Command and Staff College. His final assignments before completing 21 years of active duty were as advisor to the Philippine Army and as a military attaché at the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

His military decorations included the Bronze Star Medal (3 awards), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service

Commendation Medal (2 awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry,

Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge and Parachute Wings of both Vietnam and Thailand.

After his military service, Tom was active in international business and high-tech start-up enterprises for many years. He fully retired in 2004 and moved to San Antonio, Texas where he lives with his wife, the former Susan Jane Francis. They will celebrate 56 years of marriage this year.

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