Name and Rank, Commander Thomas Benjamin Oakley Jr.
Unit/Placed in, USS Growler (SS-215) Submarine, United States Navy.
Thomas was born approx. on Feb. 27, 1912 in New York.
Father, Thomas B. Oakley.
Born in England.
Mother, Mary Oakley.
Sister, Elizabeth Oakley.
Brother, John E. Oakley.
Thomas entered the service from California with service number # 0-073499.
Thomas B. Oakley was a Commander in the United States Navy.
Thomas was KIA when the USS Growler (probably) was sunk by Depth-Charges, on Nov. 8, 1944, and he is honored with the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Expeditionary Medal, American Campaign Medal, Navy & Marine Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.
Thomas is buried at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.
Walls of the Missing.
Jean Louis Vijgen, WW2-Pacific Website.
Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.
ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov
Marines Info, https://missingmarines.com/ Geoffrey Roecker
Seabees History Bob Smith https://seabeehf.org/
Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org
POW Info, http://www.mansell.com Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.
Philippine Info, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/ Robert Capistrano
Navy Seal Memorial, http://www.navysealmemorials.com
Family Info, https://www.familysearch.org
Medals Info, https://www.honorstates.org
Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com
Tank Destroyers, http://www.bensavelkoul.nl/
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING World War II
Division: U.S.S. Growler (SS-215)
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Thomas Benjamin Oakley, Jr. (NSN: 0-73499), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GROWLER (SS-215), on the TENTH War Patrol of that submarine during the period 11 August 1944 to 26 September 1944, in enemy controlled waters of the Southwest Pacific. Striking fiercely at a large Japanese convoy in a daring night surface action, Commander Oakley delivered a fast bow attack, sinking a tanker and damaging a freighter, then, swinging hard right under terrific shellfire, shot four stern torpedoes point blank at an aggressive destroyer, exploding the target in billows of smoke. Threatened with depth-charging and under furious surface attack, he remained surfaced while skillfully evading the persistent counterfire and submerged just before dawn to make his escape undamaged. Warned of the approach of a second heavily-escorted convoy, he attacked from dead ahead of the starboard column, firing three down-the-throat shots at a destroyer bearing down on a collision course, executed a sharp maneuver hard left, fired his stern tubes at two overlapping merchantmen to score heavy damage on both, and swung hard left again in time to see the blazing man-of-war sink a short 200 yards off his port side. Undaunted, he cleared the area under heavy fire while still surfaced and, a few hours after daylight, sighted a third destroyer searching the scene of earlier action. Immediately submerging, he rigged for depth-charging, conducted a brilliant close-range periscope attack and plunged deep to register through the GROWLER’s hull the shattering concussions of his death-dealing torpedoes as they struck the target and exploded. His superb ship handling and indomitable fighting spirit in achieving this outstanding record reflect the highest credit upon commander Oakley, his gallant ship’s company and the United States Naval Service.