Thomas Carroll Finnie, a cartographer who created the maps used for manned space flights and lunar landings, died on Oct. 17 from complications of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.
Finnie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1940. During World War II, he served with the Army in the Pacific, then joined the Army engineers corps as a civilian to assist with the reconstruction of Japan.
For 22 years, Finnie worked as the technical director of the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center in St. Louis, where his map production skills were used to aid in space exploration. Finnie was at Houston mission control when Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. He also helped create the Defense Mapping Agency, a consolidation of all military mapping, charting and geodesy.
Finnie was inducted as a charter member of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Hall of Fame in 2001.