Thomas J. Town was a deep sea diver and was in the U. S. Navy submarine force in the 1920s-1930s. Subsequent to his naval service, Town enrolled as a student at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute in the late 1930s. During this time, Town photographed numerous aircraft at the Grand Central Airport in Glendale, California and also took photographs at San Jacinto, California of the Tupolev ANT-25 (RD) piloted by Mikhail Gromoff during his 1937 transpolar flight. Town later worked as an engineer at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California where he gave the negatives in this collection to a fellow engineer, Bruce R. Ward.