Thomas Ewing Crowley joined the Navy at age 16 and was a hospital apprentice and then pharmacist’s mate on several ships during and after World War I.
He served nearly four years and was discharged in 1923. He enrolled in the Naval Reserve and studied at Chaminade College in St. Louis and then at the University of Southern California, where he earned a degree in dentistry in 1929.
Mr. Crowley was commissioned as an assistant dental surgeon that December and served at land naval stations and at sea. He was a lieutenant commander on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Mr. Crowley was born April 18, 1902, to James and Ellen Crowley of Madison, Illinois. Both parents died before he was five, and he went to live with his father’s sister, Julia Devine, in St. Louis.
Mr. Crowley was survived by his widow, Barbara, and a seven-year-old son, Thomas Jr.She christened the destroyer escort U.S.S. Crowley, DE-303, when it was launched in 1943. The ship earned five battle stars for its performance in the Pacific during the war. A road at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia, is also named in Mr. Crowley’s memory.
Sources: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; the St. Louis Republic; the St. Louis Star and Times; the University of Southern California; Application for Seaman’s Protection Certificate; Navy; Census; cemetery records. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.