Thomas J. Thorne, Interview by Jack Bass, 18 December 2008

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Thomas J. Thorne, Interview by Jack Bass, 18 December 2008
Bass, Jack
Thorne, Thomas J., 1918-
Thomas Thorne was born in Savannah, GA, on July 17, 1918. He acquired his love of the military through his father, who was a major in the Georgia National Guard. He entered The Citadel in 1935, and a year after graduating, received a commission in November 1940 as a second lieutenant in the 76th Coast Artillery, a black unit with white officers. While on active duty he served for a time as the anti-aircraft officer for 16th Corps during the Battle of the Bulge when his commanding officer was relieved. For his service in WWII, he received the Distinguished Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Thorne recalls his decision to attend The Citadel and his thirty-five years in the Army Reserve. He discusses some memorable events of his service in WWII, including chance meetings with General Patton and with two armed SS men alone in the woods. After retiring from the Army Reserve in 1974, Thorne remained active in the Charleston, SC, community, serving as president of the Greater Charleston Chamber of Commerce and vice chairman of the Charleston Development Board.
The Citadel Oral History Program
Contributing Institution:
The Citadel Archives & Museum
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Thorne, Thomas J.,--1918--Archives, Thorne, Thomas J.,--1918--Correspondence
Topical Subject:
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Distinguished Service Medal (U.S.), Meritorious Service Medal
This interview is a part of the "Citadel WWII Alumni History Project." With generous support from the Humanities Council of South Carolina (, the Citadel Oral History Program collected thirty interviews with Citadel alumni regarding their experiences during WWII. Journalist and historian Jack Bass conducted the interviews during the Fall of 2008.They serve as a powerful testament to the veterans' experiences and their critical contributions to the war effort. The digital recordings and transcripts are part of The Citadel Oral History Program Collection at The Citadel Archives & Museum.
The Citadel in War and in Peace
World War II
Shelving Locator:
The Citadel Oral History Program--World War II Alumni Services 2009.13.26
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are .wav files.
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital resource copyright 2011, The Citadel Archives & Museum. All rights reserved. For more information contact The Citadel Archives & Museum, Charleston, SC, 29409.