January 28, 1921 (Charleston, WV) – January 10, 1943; 21 years old
Last local address: 16 South Main Street, South Norwalk
Enlisted August 21, 1940
Service number: 2661765
USS ARGONAUT (SS-166)
MIA (at sea)
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
The only Norwalker to be Killed In Action on a submarine. Muster roll from the USS Argonaut on December 31, 1942 shows FCM3 Morgan arriving on the sub November 23, 1942. The sub was lost 48 days later.
From The Norwalk Hour February 18, 1943
Thomas Moore Morgan, Fire Controlman Third Class, well known in Norwalk and brother of Mrs. Ann Myslinski of 6 Bround Street and Mrs. Mary Bloom of Meadow Street, has also been reported as “missing in action.” Seaman Morgan was born in Charleston, West Virginia, but spent many years in Norwalk with his sisters. He attended Norwalk High School in 1928 as a sophomore, but at the end of that year returned to his home town, where later he was graduated from the Sacred Heart High School. He took an active part in sports at Norwalk High School.
Citation of Thomas Moore Morgan, 22, brother of Mrs. Albert Myslinski of 6 Broad Street sand Mrs. Mary Bloom of Meadow Street, who fought on the U.S. submarine Argonaut which continued to fire on Japanese warships off Rabaul until destroyed months ago, was received last night by Mrs. Myslinksi from the Navy Department. The eight officers and 94 men aboard the sub “accepted destruction rather than surrender,” the Navy said, and the commanding officer and the entire ship’s company have received identical letters of commendation posthumously from Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. Morgan, a Fire Controlman Third Class, was reported missing in action in February. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia but spent many years in Norwalk with his sisters. He attended Norwalk High School in 1938 as a sophomore and was manager of the soph football team, but then returned to his home town, where he was graduated from Sacred Heart High School. After finishing high school, he returned to Norwalk and was employed at local stores. He returned to Charleston in 1940 and enlisted in the Navy. Morgan’s citation, received by Mrs. Myslinksi last night follows:
“The Chief of Naval Personnel is pleased to inform you that your ward, Thomas Moore Morgan, Fire Controlman Third Class, United States Navy, missing in action, had been commended by Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, for his performance of duty which was an important and material contribution to a courageous and determined attack against superior enemy forces. In view of the fact that the permanent citation contains information which is at present, confidential, it will be retained in the bureau until such time as there is no further need for secrecy.”
Capt, USN (Ret)
To the Chief of Bureau
MORGAN, Thomas M, FCM3, 2661765, USN, from West Virginia, USS Argonaut, location New Britain Island, missing, date of loss January 10, 1943 (pm) + MORGAN, Thomas M, Fire Controlman Third Class, 2661765, USN, from West Virginia, Jan-44, Manila American Cemetery (bm) + MORGAN, Thomas, FC3c, USN, Argonaut SM-1, January 10, 1943 (nm) + MORGAN, Thomas Moore, Fire Controlman 3c, USN. Guardian, Mrs. Ann Myslinski (1918-2001), 6 Broad St., Norwalk, Conn)
From history.navy.mil: The USS Argonaut, while operating in the area southeast of New Britain between 5°-15’S and 6°-00’S and west of 150°-50’E during her third patrol, Argonaut (Lieutenant Commander J.R. Pierce) intercepted a Japanese convoy returning to Rabaul from Lae, on 10 January 1943. A U.S. Army plane which was out of bombs saw one destroyer hit by a torpedo, saw the explosion of two other destroyers, and reported five other vessels in the group.
After a severe depth charge attack Argonaut was forced to surface and the destroyers, according to the plane’s report, circled and pumped shells into her bow, which was sticking up at a considerable angle. This action took place in 5°-40’S, 152°-02’E, and further efforts to contact Argonaut by radio were fruitless. It is quite certain, then, that Argonaut met her end in this action. Japanese reports made available since the end of the war record a depth charge attack followed by artillery fire, at which time the “destroyed top of the sub floated”.
Pictures of FC3c Thomas M. Morgan’s Purple Heart Medal and WWII medal; contributed by Mark Myslinski
Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, Tablets of the Missing.