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NGA Press Release: Family donates Thomas Finnie’s historic personal collection to NGA

Taken from a Press Release written by Jessica Daues, Office of Corporate Communications, NGA

The family of the late Thomas C. Finnie, former technical director of the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center and Defense Mapping Agency, donated approximately 30 items from Finnie’s personal collection to NGA’s History Program.

Included in the items is a collection of 23 moon photographs presented to Finnie by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in recognition of the assistance provided to NASA on its moon landing efforts by ACIC and DMA.

The memorabilia was given to the agency by Thomas Finnie’s son William Finnie on behalf of the Finnie family.

“We are incredibly proud of our dad and what he did for our country,” William Finnie said.

William Finnie said that previously the collection has been stored at home.

“The history here is just incredible,” William Finnie said. “I knew more people would be able to see these items at NGA.”

The collection – which includes awards, acknowledgements, photographs, lithographs, certificates and more – will be catalogued and become part of historical exhibits at NCW and NCE in the coming months, said Gary Weir, NGA historian.

“This collection documents a life that was integral to the agency,” Weir said. “Having these items here will help NGA better understand and tell the story of Thomas Finnie and NGA predecessor agencies ACIC and DMA.”

Thomas Finnie served as technical director of ACIC from 1962-1972 and thenserved as director of management and technology for DMA from 1972-74. He was one of the initial eight Department of Defense planners who assisted the DMA director, Lt. Gen. Howard W. Penney, in organizing DMA in 1972.

Finnie’s career with the U.S. government started in July

1937 with the Department of Agriculture. He then practiced engineering and surveying and served on the faculty at the University of Kentucky. As an army officer in World War II, Finnie commanded the 66th Engineer Topographic Company during several southwest Pacific campaigns.

He retired from the federal governmen

t in 1974. In 2001, Finnie was inducted into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2003.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation renamed its lifetime achievement award, the Arthur C. Lundahl—Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award, to honor Finnie.

Captions accompanying  attached photos:

Thomas Finnie’s collection includes awards, photographs, certificates and more. Photos by Dick Fonner, NGA Office of Corporate Communications.

NASA presented 23 moon pho

tographs to Finnie in recognition for the assistance provided to NASA in its moon landing efforts by ACIC and DMA. This photograph shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting an American flag planted in lunar soil.

William Finnie (right), Thomas Finnie’s son, donated the collection to NGA.


Approved for public release, case 14-469.

39415FinnieFamilyDonation..14-469(3) 39415FinnieFamilyDonation..14-469 39415FinnieFamilyDonation..14-469(2)

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