Thomas E. Parlaman was born on September 15, 1918 in West Chester to Edward and Edith Boorse Parlaman. Thomas had two sisters.
The family lived in West Chester but later moved to Berwyn where Thomas attended the Tredyffrin-Easttown high school and was in the industrial arts program and played on the soccer team. The Yearbook writes of Thomas:
Tom is one of the more practical type of fellows of the class. He doesn’t like studies so well but his is made up for by his great knowledge of radio and practical electricity. Tom is very jovial and happy-go-lucky. He is well liked by all.
Thomas graduated in 1936 and attended the Drexel Institute of Technology. He found employment with the Lyman Electric Company in Wayne.
Thomas entered service in the Army in April, 1941.In December, 1942 while stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Thomas participated in a routine river crossing exercise, his men fording a river in trucks. Second Lieutenant Parlaman was supervising when eight men fell overboard. Seven were able to grab a lifeline thrown to them, but one was quickly carried down current. Thomas stripped off his heavy equipment and dove in to save his man. After swimming about 20 yards he was seized by cramps and went down. Two other officers dove in to help but were unsuccessful. His body was recovered about three hours later. The Daily Local News reported on December 12, 1942:
“He was an outstanding officer known at Fort Bragg and was well known and respected by those who served under him as well as his superior officers. His act of heroism proved the high qualities of his character. His regiment honored him at a chapel service Friday morning”
Lieutenant Thomas Edward Parlaman died "non battle" on December 9, 1942.