SGT CLYDE THOMASON
U.S. Marine Corps Raiders
Japanese-held island of Makin
17-18 August 1942
Clyde Thomason enlisted in the Marines in Savannah, Georgia In December of 1934 and served in China. He honorably discharged in 1939.
You know what they say about “Once a Marine…”
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor Thomason immediately re-enlisted in the Corps and when he heard that Ltc Carlson was organizing his famous Raiders, he volunteered.
At 6’4” and almost 200lbs he required a waiver of the maximum height to be a Marine Raider. He would later prove the waiver was a wise decision.
On 17 August 1942 it was Sgt Thomason who led the advanced element of the assault.
According to his Medal of Honor Citation:
“Sgt. 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 1 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 U.S. Naval Service.”
Sergeant Clyde A. Thomason was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism at the cost of his life while leading an assault on Makin Island, 17 August 1942.
He was the First Marine of WW2 to receive the award