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Somerville in Burleson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Thomas J. Gary

 
 
Thomas J. Gary Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 9, 2022
1. Thomas J. Gary Marker
Inscription.  Born on Sept. 16, 1922, in Texas City, Thomas J. Gary, Jr. attended Somerville Junior High in the 1930s. He returned to Texas City and, in 1940, at age 18, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. A seaman second class, Gary was assigned to the USS California, flagship for the Pacific Fleet. Stationed at Hawaii, the ship came under attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and Gary gave his life to rescue several crewmates. Listed as buried at sea, he was honored for his bravery with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and a Navy Citation. The navy also named two ships for him, including the USS Thomas J. Gary (de/der-326), a destroyer escort that served around the world from 1943-1973.
 
Erected 2002 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12776.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is September 16, 1922.
 
Location. 30° 20.571′ N, 96° 32.02′ W. Marker is in Somerville, Texas, in Burleson County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenue H and 8th Street
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, on the left when traveling north on Avenue H. The marker is located in front of the Somerville Junior High building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 715 Avenue H, Somerville TX 77879, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. J.L. Woods’ Undertaking Company (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Yegua Center at Somerville ISD (about 800 feet away); Somerville Stadium (approx. ¼ mile away); First United Methodist Church of Somerville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Somerville (approx. 0.4 miles away); 1906 Reunion of Hood's Texas Brigade (approx. 0.4 miles away); James W. Lauderdale (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of the Somerville Harvey House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Somerville.
 
Also see . . .
1. USS Thomas J. Gary (DE-326). Wikipedia
Thomas Jones Gary was born on 16 September 1922 in Texas City, Texas. He enlisted in the Navy on 30 September 1940. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Seaman 2d Class Gary was on board the USS California. California suffered torpedo and bomb hits which caused extensive fires and flooding. After he had rescued three or four wounded men from closed and burning compartments in the ship, Seaman Gary continued his efforts to save others until he lost his own life. He was posthumously
Thomas J. Gary Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 9, 2022
2. Thomas J. Gary Marker
commended by the Secretary of the Navy for his courageous action and disregard for personal safety in assisting his endangered crewmates.
(Submitted on August 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. USS California (BB-44). Wikipedia
California was moored in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked the port, bringing the United States into World War II. The ship was moderately damaged by a pair of torpedoes and a bomb, but a fire disabled the ship's electrical system, preventing the pumps from being used to keep the ship afloat. California slowly filled with water over the following three days and eventually sank. Her crew suffered heavy casualties in the attack and four men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the attack. She was raised in April 1942, repaired and heavily rebuilt, and returned to service in January 1944.
(Submitted on August 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The view of the Thomas J. Gary Marker in front of the Somerville Junior High School image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 9, 2022
3. The view of the Thomas J. Gary Marker in front of the Somerville Junior High School
USS <i>Thomas J. Gary </i>(DER-325) image. Click for full size.
Public Domain- US Navy, circa 1960s
4. USS Thomas J. Gary (DER-325)
The U.S. Navy radar picket destroyer escort USS Thomas J. Gary (DER-325) underway.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 140 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Feb. 28, 2024