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USN flag officers: Part I. VAdm Thomas M. Stokes

April 25 2009 at 10:25 PM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to obituary for VAdm Thomas Murray Stokes


The following is a thumbnail biography of VAdm Thomas Murray Stokes, b. Feb 2, 1899; d. Dec 25, 1989, garnered mainly from his obituary in the WASHINGTON POST, Dec 28, 1989, but with one fill-in from the NAVY REGISTER, and that given in [brackets].

Stokes graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1922, having enlisted in the USN in 1917, before being appointed as midshipman the following year. At some point, he received a masters degree in engineering from Columbia University, which influenced his later career (q.v.). The part of his obit which Kit was able to read takes one to his appointment as ComDesDiv 10 in May 1942 and the obituary then gives a reasonably detailed account of the naval battle of Guadalcanal in mid-November 1942, which won Stokes a Navy Cross. Thereafter, he became XO on HELENA (CL 50), but he was transferred to staff duty aboard MASSACHUSETTS (BB 59) in June 1943, one month before HELENA was torpedoed and sunk at Kula Gulf, New Georgia. During 1944, Stokes was named to head the marine engineering department at the USNA. Sometime after the war ended, he commanded IOWA (BB 61). Stokes [was promoted to rear admirial on August 1, 1948, with a specialty in naval engineering], and he retired in 1956, with the promotion to vice admiral on the retired list. At the time of his death, he had a brother, Phillip G. Stokes, who was a rear admiral retired from the U.S. Navy.

I wish we could find that kind of detail for the NEI senior destroyer officers. I'll post whatever I can find on them in the NAVY REGISTER.


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  • Biographical bits on Asiatic Flt C.O.s - Don Kehn, Jr. on Apr 26, 2009, 8:12 PM
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