MMC Thomas Henry Marvel

MMC Thomas Henry Marvel

Delaware, USA
Death 1 Mar 1942 (aged 38–39)
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56776627 · View Source
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Having actually gone "Missing" on the above date, he was not officially declared by the military as being dead until December 15, 1945.

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Thomas, who resided at 13 East Twenty-Fifth Street, Wilmington, Delaware, served as a Chief Machinist's Mate with the cruiser U.S.S. Houston, U.S. Navy during World War II.

The Houston was known as the "Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast".

The Houston was hit by multiple torpedo's in the Battle of Sunda Strait, which was between Java and Sumatra.

Once the Houston was disabled and dead in the water Japanese destroyers moved in, and machine-gunning the decks. A few minutes later, the Houston rolled over and sank.

Of the 1,061 aboard the Houston, 368 survived, including 24 of the 74-man Marine detachment, only to be captured by the Japanese and interned in prison camps.

Houston's fate was not fully known by the world for almost nine months, and the full story of her last fight was not told until the survivors were liberated from prison camps at the end of the war.

He was declared "Missing In Action" in this sinking of the Houston in the battle of Java.

He had served in the Navy for fourteen years and nine months at the time of his death and was decorated with a Purple Heart.

Service # 2431905

Thomas was the only Delawarean lost on the Houston.

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The U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal with "FLEET" clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two battle stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

( Bio & Family Link by: Russ Pickett )


Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Delaware.



  • Maintained by: Russ Pickett
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56776627
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for MMC Thomas Henry Marvel (1903–1 Mar 1942), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56776627, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .