Guide to the Thomas F. Bomar Papers MS 124

Finding aid prepared by Lauren Rasmussen
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
February 9, 2012

Title: Thomas F. Bomar Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS 124
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1930-1975
Abstract: The collection contains the personal and business papers of Thomas F. Bomar, including his articles on the San Diego Chamber of Commerce's involvement in aviation.
creator: Bomar, Thomas F.

Separated Materials

Original negatives separated to the SDHC Photograph Collection, 2000/110.1 thru 2000/110.4.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lauren Rasmussen on February 9, 2012.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Thomas F. Bomar Papers, MS 124, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Thomas Bomar was born in Sherman, Texas in 1896. He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT in 1918. After several years of working in the industrial engineering industry, Bomar moved to San Diego in 1928. That same year he became the manager of the Industrial and Aviation Department of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He served as the San Diego Kiwanis Club president in 1938. In 1942, with the onset of World War II, Bomar left his position in the Chamber of Commerce to serve as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He returned to San Diego in 1945 and again took up his position with the Chamber of Commerce. Beginning in 1947, he worked as the managing director of the San Diego – California Club, an organization that promoted San Diego tourism.
During his lifetime, Bomar wrote a number of anecdotal stories and articles recounting his experience working in the aviation industry, as well as milestone events in the history of San Diego aviation. Twenty-six of these stories were published in the San Diego Union newspaper between October 10, 1948 and September 25, 1949. He wished to publish the entire collection of his stories as a book, but was never able to find a publisher. Throughout his life, Bomar was a vocal advocate for the expansion of Lindbergh Field, San Diego’s main airport, and the establishment of air mail services to the city. He eventually went on to support the idea that the city consider taking over the military air field at Miramar Air Station to create a larger city airport. The articles he wrote for the San Diego Union demonstrate the breadth of his aviation activities, including his support of female aviators and his encounter with Amelia Earhart upon her visit to San Diego in 1932. Bomar died when he was 80 years old in 1976. He was the acting general manager of the Chamber of Commerce at the time of his death. He was married to Bonnie K. Bomar.


Items in collection are arranged by subject.

Scope and Content

The collection, dated between 1930 and 1975, primarily includes Thomas Bomar’s personal papers such as resumes and Naval documents; articles on aviation and industry; and his involvement in the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Major topics covered in his articles include the establishment of a consistent air mail service, military aviation, and the endeavors of female pilots in San Diego, including Amelia Earhart’s visit. Handwritten notes outline a potential book and several of his articles. There are also correspondence and paystubs for articles he published in the San Diego Union.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 2000.151.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Alexander, Ruth
American Airlines, inc..
Bomar, Thomas F.
Claude, Ryan T.
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
Fleet, Reuben Hollis, 1887-1975
Kiwanis Club (San Diego, Calif.).
Ryan School of Aeronautics.
San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
San Diego Highway Development Association.
Smith, Cyrus Rowlett
United States. Naval Reserve.
Wallace, Peaches
Air mail service
Industrial engineering
Lindbergh Field (San Diego, Calif.)
Miramar (Calif.)
San Diego (Calif.)
San Diego Union

Box-folder 1:1

Personal papers, 1932 January 20–1975 October 27


U.S. Naval Reserve materials
Union Tribune paystubs
Box-folder 1:2

Articles on aviation, 1948 October 10–1952 May 4


"Air Mail to the East"
"Amelia Earhart"
"Convair, Plant Two"
"First Air Mail Service"
"Lindbergh Field"
"San Diego Gets an Industry"
"'Wrong Way' Corrigan"
Box-folder 1:3

Articles on industry, undated


"The Hemp Mill"
"Otay Watch Factory"
"The Silk Mill"
Box-folder 1:4

Article notes, undated

Box-folder 1:5

Publication correspondence, 1957 August 27–1975 February 10

Box-folder 1:6

San Diego Chamber of Commerce, 1930 October 20–1936 October 31


1935-1936 Annual Report
Civic Center Campaign receipts of expenditure
Box-folder 1:7

Miscellanea, 1974 December 3 and undated


List of accommodations and tariffs (including auto courts), undated