Leland Evan Thomas
Leland Evan Thomas
|Born||September 20, 1918|
|Died||September 18, 1942 (aged 23)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
|Years of service||1941–1942|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Distinguished Flying Cross (posthumous)|
Leland Evan Thomas (September 20, 1918 – September 18, 1942) was a decorated United States Marine Corps Reserve pilot of World War II.
Thomas was born on September 20, 1918 in Ontario, Oregon.
Marine Corps career
Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on September 10, 1941 and was appointed air cadet on October 15, 1941. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on April 17, 1942.
While serving in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II, Thomas contributed to the sinking of an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser and destroyer. He was killed in action at Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal campaign on 18 September 1942 while launching an aggressive attack on Japanese warships.
Honors and awards
Distinguished Flying Cross
Thomas posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation read in part:
...for heroism and extraordinary achievement as a pilot....His indomitable fighting spirit was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
The United States Navy destroyer escort USS Leland E. Thomas (DE-420) was named in Thomas's honor. She was commissioned on June 19, 1944 and served until May 1946.
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- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
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