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Tomich, Peter

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Chief Watertender, USN (1893-1941)

Chief Watertender Peter Tomich, USN, (1893-1941)

Peter Tomich was born in Prolog, Austria, in what later became Yugoslavia, on 3 June 1893. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy in January 1919, he initially served in the destroyer Litchfield. By 1941, he had become a Chief Watertender on board the training and target ship Utah. When that ship was torpedoed during Japan's 7 December 1941 raid on Pearl Harbor, Tomich was on duty in a boiler room. As Utah began to capsize, he remained below, securing the boilers and making certain that other men escaped, and so lost his life. For his "distinguished conduct and extraordinary courage" at that time, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

The escort ship USS Tomich (DE-242), 1943-1974, was named in honor of Chief Watertender Tomich.

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