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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
  • 22 May 1946: Decommissioned at San Diego, Cal. after 2.4 years of service
  • 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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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Thomason 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
    Thomason 49k keel laying plaque Jules James III, grandson
    of Admiral James,
    via Bob Hall
    Thomason 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 Dale Hargrave
    Thomason 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
    Thomason 234k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - Thomason is christened by Miss Sara Thomason with the traditional bottle of champagne.
    Thomason 269k 23 August 1943: Charleton, S.C. - Another view at the moment of christening.
    Thomason 197k undated: Charleton, S.C. - A view of Thomason, in commission and underway.
    Thomason 33k undated wartime image Nick Tiberio
    Thomason 78k undated wartime image Richard Kusmierz,
    son of crewmember
    Edward Kusmierz
    Thomason 266k page from Edward Kusmierz's scrapbook

    Thomason Memorabilia
    Commemorative Postal Cover
    Courtesy of
    Jon Burdett
    Launch Program (Cover)
    Courtesy of
    Jon Burdett
    Launch Program (Inside)
    Courtesy of
    Jon Burdett

    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.)
    2.) 27 Feb. 1945 - 27 Jul. 1945Lcdr. Francis Stoughton Walker, USNR *
    3.) 27 Jul. 1945 - 03 Oct. 1945Lcdr. Charles Frederick Weideman, Jr., USNR
              Muster Gap
    4.) 21 May 1946 - 22 May 1946Lt.(jg) William Henry Wetzler, USNR (decomm.)
    * 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. / 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 or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
    Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Thomason
    USS Thomason Page on Destroyers Online
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated 16 February 2016