On Saturday, Sept. 17, Councilman Robert Holden held a ceremony to co-name 82nd Place between 64th Road and Furmanville Avenue in Middle Village “Captain Thomas G. Abbey Place” after a local veteran.
Holden was joined by Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch and others at the memorial service co-hosted by the Newtown Historical Society at Captain Abbey’s grave site at St. John’s Cemetery.
Abbey died while serving in World War II. Abbey was also an aviator during World War I, flying biplanes for the U.S Navy.
After World War I, Abbey joined the NYPD, working in the motorcycle unit. However, when World War II began, he was determined to serve his country again. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia gave him a special one-year leave from the NYPD in 1941. Abbey was 42 at the time but taught young aviators how to fly and fight in aerial combat at the Air Corps’ request.
According to the Newtown Historical Society, in 1941, “Mayor LaGuardia granted Abbey a one-year leave from the NYPD so he could assist in training pilots to fly under the Civil Aeronautics Authority. He later rejoined the NYPD but resigned to join the United States Army Air Force. During an air search mission to find Abbey’s commanding officer who went missing during a storm, Captain Abbey was killed in Latin America.”
Holden said he was honored to co-name a street in Middle Village after Abbey.
“Captain Abbey flew and fought in both world wars, joined the NYPD, taught younger pilots and lost his life trying to rescue another pilot,” Holden said. “Captain Abbey is a credit to our district.”