Sergeant Clyde A. Thomason, USMCR, (1914-1942)

Clyde A. Thomason was born on 23 May 1914 in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from high school in the local area and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state in December 1934. During this enlistment, he served with the Marine Detachment on board USS Augusta and in China. Following his honorable discharge in 1939, he entered the Marine Corps Reserve. In January 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, Thomason reenlisted in the active Marines. Joining the Second Marine Raider Batallion, in April he deployed to the Pacific for combat duty.

Leading an assault echeon against the Japanese during the 17-18 raid on Makin Island, Thomason exhibited exemplary skill and courage before losing his life in the fighting. For his "conspicuous heroism and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Clyde A. Thomason's remains were recovered on Makin many decades later, and he was subsequently reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

USS Thomason (DE-203), 1943-1969, was named in honor of Sergeant Clyde A. Thomason.

This page features the only image we have concerning Clyde A. Thomason.

Photo #: NH 106472

Sergeant Clyde A. Thomason, USMCR

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 268.
Clyde A. Thomason was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous heroism and intrepidity" while serving with the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese on Makin Island, 17-18 August 1942.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 55KB; 580 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of Sergeant Clyde Thomason, USMCR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 268):

"For conspicuous heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty during the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese-held island of Makin on 17-18 August 1942. 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 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. "

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