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|59k||Clarence Crase Thomas was born on 26 December 1886 in Grass Valley, California. He was appointed midshipman on 07 July 1904 and graduated from the United States Naval
Academy on 05 June 1908. After service in armored cruiser Maryland and gunboat Yorktown, he was commissioned ensign on 29 June 1910. In the next few years,
Thomas served in Denver, Cleveland, and West Virginia. Appointed lieutenant (jg.) on 26 June 1913, he was detached from West Virginia
in the summer of 1914 to attend a post-graduate course in steam engineering at the Naval Academy. He attended Columbia University in late 1915 and, on 24 June 1916, reported on board
Florida as her electrical officer. Thomas was promoted to lieutenant on 08 January 1917 and, about a fortnight after the United States entered World War I, was placed in
charge of the naval armed guard on the merchant steamship SS Vacuum in April. On the 28th, when a lookout reported sighting a German submarine, some 120 miles west of the
Hebrides Islands, Lt. Thomas went to the ship's after gun. A few moments later, a torpedo from U-21 struck Vacuum, and exploded, throwing Thomas and the gun's
crew into the water. The ship sank within two minutes. Picked up by a boat, Thomas soon died of cold and exposure. He was the first United States naval officer to lose his life in the war
with Germany and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross "for distinguished service in the line of his profession as commander of the armed guard crew of Vacuum.
USS Thomas (DE 102) (1943-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy)
|446k||07 December 1943: Portsmouth, Va. - A starboard quarter view of Thomas taken near the Norfolk Navy Yard.
(U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-102-19-N-60229 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.; courtesy of Chris Wright)
|244k||05 July 1944: the Atlantic Ocean - USS Thomas (DE 102) is shown from the starboard bow wearing modified 32/3D, in a photo taken from escort carrier
USS Card (CVE -11). Thomas has ocean gray painted on the superstructure, but may not have any on the hull. Later in the day that this photo was taken, at 1946 hours
Thomas rammed and sank U-233.
(U.S. Navy, National Archives photo, Catalog No. 80-G-366262, courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, at USN Dazzle).
Port Angeles, Wash.
|99k||Painting of USS Thomas, depicting the ramming of U-233 on 05 July 1944. This painting was done for Mr. Buring.||Bob Buring|
All Photos this series
© Robert M. Buring
|104k||05 July 1944: Photo taken just an "instant" before ramming U-233. Notice bow of Thomas at bottom of photo.|
|75k||05 July 1944 : picking up survivors from U-233|
|97k||08 July 1944: Boston, Mass. - Photo showing damage to the bow of Thomas after ramming of U-233. Taken in a Boston Navy Yard drydock.|
|56k||Trip to Iceland, February 1945.|
|92k||1944 or 45: in the North Atlantic - Thomas preparing to go along side USS Croatan (CVE 25) for a mail pass.|
|75k||Thomas pulling away from USS Croatan after mail pass.|
|58k||1945: the North Atlantic - Thomas conducting depth charge attack.|
|36k||11 June 1945: Capt. Dave Kellogg, Commanding Officer USS Thomas|
|76k||11 November 1945: Port Arthur, Texas - After WWII Thomas escorted the captured German Sub U-530 on Victory Bond Tours.|
|51k||circa 1946: A photo of USS Thomas (DE 102) tied up pierside. The photograph was likely taken at Green Cove Springs, Florida.
(Photograph by Ensign Carl Gene Coin, USN, Chief Petty Officer aboard Thomas during its' last year of service and decommissioning.)
England, United Kingdom
|51k||ROCS Tai Ho (F-23) underway, date / location unknown|
|View the USS Thomas (DE 102) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Thomas as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Thomas's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 21 Nov. 1943 - 12 Jun. 1945||Lcdr. David M. Kellogg, USNR (Comm. CO) (Seattle, Wash.)|
|2.) 12 Jun. 1945 - 01 Oct. 1945||Lcdr. Frank H. Jones, USNR (Malden, Mass.)|
|3.) 02 Jan. 1946 - 02 Apr. 1946||Lt. Robert Judson Sammons, USN (College Station, Tex.)|
|4.) 01 May 1946 - 01 Jul. 1946||Lcdr. John Dierks, USNR (Decomm. CO) (Davenport, Ia.)|
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.
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