Thomas J. Ford
Officer
5th Division
USN
USS West Virginia
1941

Thomas J. Ford, Lieutenant Commander, born March 22, 1918, Bronx, NY Education: St. John's University, BBA, LLB and JD degrees. He joined the USNR in 1940 and was stationed in the USS West Virginia, US Naval Air, USS Louisville and Third Naval District.
Memorable Experience: Dec. 7, 1941, in the 5th Div., USS West Virginia. He was thrown from his bunk at 7:00 AM when the first torpedo struck the West Virginia. Topside he saw that the Arizona had blown up and the Oklahoma had capsized. Fires were everywhere and when word came at 11:00 AM to "abandon ship," he dove into the water with burning oil everywhere. A whaleboat took him to Ford Island where he was assigned to command a machine gun crew on the roof of the sub base. Relieved 48 hours later, he then slept a straight 20 hours.

Assigned to Pat Wing Two and in November 1942, reported aboard the USS Louisville (CA-28). Participated in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal; Battle of Rennel Island; Aleutians Campaign; occupation of Kiska and Attu; Marshall Islands Operation; Kwajelein, Majuro, Eniwetok; Asiatic Pacific raids-Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Wolesi, Truk, Saipan, Ponape, Hollandia Operation; Marianas occupation-Saipan, Tinian, Guam; Western Carolines Operation, capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands; Leyte Gulf Operation, Battle of Surigao Strait, Luzon attacks, Lingayen Gulf landings; Okinawa assault and occupation.
Detached from Louisville at Guam Aug. 15, 1945 as lieutenant commander, USNR. Received the Commendation Ribbon and 13 Battle Stars.

Married Margared Daly May 26, 1942, and they have seven children and 22 grandchildren. He has practiced law for 47 years as a general practitioner and hopes to continue doing so until his Maker calls him.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing


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