Thomas Baron

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Thomas Ronald "Tom" Baron (c. 1938 – 27 April 1967)[1] was a quality control and safety inspector for North American Aviation (NAA), when it was the primary contractor to build the Apollo command module.[2]


Baron was born in Wilkes-Barre.[3] and attended Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.[3]

Baron was initially employed by the U.S. Air Force, and stationed at Eglin Air Force Base.[3] He was later hired as a quality control inspector with North American Aviation, the prime NASA contractor for construction of the Apollo spaceship.[3]

Baron's report[edit]

Baron compiled a 169-page report critical of safety standards at North American Aviation, and leaked his report to the media.[4] After NAA learned of this, they fired him.

After the Apollo 1 fire, Baron wrote a 275-page report on NASA safety protocol violations, which he gave to Rep. Olin E. Teague's investigation at Cape Kennedy, Florida, on April 21, 1967.[5]

The chairman of the NASA Oversight Committee claimed that Baron had made a valuable contribution to the Apollo fire probe, but that he had been "overzealous".[6]


Six days after his testimony, Baron was killed instantly, along with his wife and stepdaughter, when a train crashed into their car near their home in Florida.[1][7]


  1. ^ a b Garber, Steve (January 27, 2010). "Chapter 9". Apollo-1 (204). NASA. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Source Notes: Chapter 18: The Fire That Seared the Spaceport". NASA. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "3 in Ex-Bethlehem Family Killed". The Morning Call. 30 April 1967. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Report of Apollo 204 Review Board" (PDF). NASA History. NASA. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Report of Apollo 204 Review Board" (PDF). NASA History. NASA. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  6. ^ Daytona Beach Morning Journal, May 4, 1967.
  7. ^ "Baron Report (1965-1966)". Retrieved 2008-12-15.

External links[edit]