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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Thomason (DE 203)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Q - C - Y
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 3 stars - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Thomason (DE 203) Building and Operational Data:
  • 05 June 1943: Keel laid by the Charleston Navy Yard at the Charleston, S.C.
  • 23 August 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Miss Sara Jeanette Thomason, sister of Sergeant Thomason
  • 10 December 1943: Commissioned, Lcdr. Charles B. Henriques, USNR, in command
  • 07 February 1944: Sank the Japanese submarine RO-55 off Iba, Luzon, the Philippine Islands
  • 22 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2 years and 5⅓ months of service, having steamed 120,000 miles
  • 08 August 1946: Inactivation completed at San Diego, Cal., assigned to Submarine Group Two, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • 30 June 1968: Struck from the NVR
  • 30 June 1969: Sold for scrap to the National Metal & Steel Corp., Terminal Island, Los Angeles, Cal.
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    129k Clyde A. Thomason was born on 23 May 1914 at Atlanta, Ga. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 28 December 1934. He served in China and on board USS Augusta (CA 31) before being discharged on 23 December 1940. Sergeant Thomason reenlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 8 January 1942 and joined "A" Company, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, the following month.

    Sergeant Thomason was killed in action at Makin Island on 17 August 1942 when the battalion raided that island. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation reads in part: "Leading the advance element of the assault echelon, Sergeant Thomason disposed his men with keen judgment and discrimination and by his exemplary leadership and great personal valor, exhorted them to like fearless efforts. On one occasion, he dauntlessly walked up to a, house which concealed an enemy Japanese sniper, forced in the door and shot the man before he could resist. Later in the action, while leading an assault on an enemy position, he gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. His courage and loyal devotion to duty in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

    USS Thomason (DE 203) (1943-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Marine Corps Photo from the USMC History Division)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    49k keel laying plaque Jules James III
    grandson of Admiral James,
    via Bob Hall
    381k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - USS Jordan (DE 204) on the left, and USS Thomason (DE 203) on the right, await launching at the Charleston Navy Yard S. Dale Hargrave
    Newport News, Va.
    272k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - The Launching Party for Thomason. L to R: Lt. H.M. Thomason, USMC, brother of the ship's namesake, Miss Sara Jeanette Thomason, sister and ship's Sponsor, Capt. A. M. Penn, Industrial Manager of the Charleston Navy Yard, Mrs. Thomason, mother of Sgt. Thomason and Mrs. J. T. Thomason, sister-in-law and Matron of Honor
    234k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - Thomason is christened by Miss Sara Thomason with the traditional bottle of champagne.
    269k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - Another view at the moment of christening.
    197k undated: Charleton, S.C. - A view of Thomason, in commission and underway.
    267k 17 February 1944: Charleston, S.C. - The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Thomason (DE 203) approaching and passing under the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge over the Cooper River at Charleston, South Carolina. She is painted in Camouflage Measure 32, Design 16D. From 07 to 16 February Thomason had been in the Charleston Navy Yard for repairs. She got underway on the 17th and headed for lower Cahrleston Harbor to run the degaussing range and calibrate her compasses. She anchored for the night there and on the 18th got underway in company with USS Evans (DD 552) for Davisville, R.I.

    (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships photo #BS60778 and BS60777 courtesy of the late C. Lee Johnson (, from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.)
    Bob Hurst
    Worksop, Nottinghamshire,
    England, United Kingdom
    33k undated wartime image Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    78k undated wartime image Richard Kusmierz
    son of crewmember
    Edward Kusmierz
    266k page from Edward Kusmierz's scrapbook
    260k undated wartime image Darryl Baker
    PNCM, USNR (ret.)

    Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum

    Thomason Memorabilia
    Postal Cover
    Courtesy of
    Jon Burdett
    Courtesy of
    Jon Burdett

    Thomason History
    View the USS Thomason (DE 203) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Thomason's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 10 Dec. 1943 - 27 Feb. 1945Cmdr. Charles Buck Henriques, USNR (Comm. CO) (New Orleans, La.)
    2.) 27 Feb. 1945 - 27 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Francis Stoughton Walker, USNR*
    3.) 27 Jul. 1945 - 03 Nov. 1945Lcdr. Charles Frederick Weideman Jr., USNR (Cincinnati, Ohio)
    4.) 03 Nov. 1945 - 17 Apr. 1946Lt. W. M. Jones, USNR
    5.) 17 Apr. 1946 - 22 May 1946Lt.(jg) William Henry Wetzler, USNR (Decomm. CO)
    *Relieved for medical reasons after being hospitalized.
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Last Known Reunion: 2003 at Lenoir NC
    Next Reunion: none presently planned

    Contact Name: Kenneth Bierbach
    Address: 530 Sycamore Ave.
    City/State: South Milwaukee WI 53172
    Phone: (414) 762-4973
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
    been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
    only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 07 December 2023