Editor’s note: Robert E. Thomas was born in Illinois, on July 16, 1919 and died on February 10, 2015. He was the county’s first Administrative Officer. The Robert E. Thomas Hall of Administration at the Civic Center in Santa Ana bears his name.
Captain Robert E. Thomas, Jr., U.S.N.
Citation: Navy Cross
War: World War II
Captain Robert E. Thomas, Jr., (then Ensign), U.S. Navy. For distinguished service in line of his profession, exceptional courage, coolness, and devotion to duty during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Despite heavy enemy bombing, strafing and torpedo attacks Ensign Thomas, battery officer on the 5” anti-aircraft battery of the U.S.S. Nevada, although seriously wounded and handicapped by heavy casualties to the personnel of the battery maintained a highly effective fire from his battery. Ensign Thomas reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS
More about Captain Robert E. Thomas, Jr.:
- A slideshow on his life (YouTube)
- His obituary (OCRegister)
- Navy captain’s death leaves only 6 O.C. Pearl Harbor survivors (OCRegister)
- Profile (Freedom Committee of Orange County)
Related article: Voice of OC to Publish Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques