EM1c Thomas James Nides

Unknown Sailor

EM1c Thomas James Nides

Thomas James Nides Jr. was born Oct. 8, 1908 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  His mother, Ophelia Rapp Nides, was a homemaker and his father a clerk for the Board of Health.

The son was an electrician’s mate and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

The ship’s muster roll from that fall said he enlisted on July 16, 1938, but that must have been an re-enlistment because it also said he first went aboard the battleship in September 1932.

Mr. Nides married Frances Lee in Los Angeles in April 1934. By the time he died, they lived at Long Beach next to the ship’s San Pedro home port. Mr. Nides was also survived by a son, 4, and a step-daughter, 11.

An interesting bit of family history is that one of his aunts, Mary Nides Richter, was a yeoman and petty officer in World War I. The Navy was so short of clerical workers that in March 1917 it began enlisting women as yeoman, and by the end of the war about 11,000 women had that rating. Most did secretarial work, but some were translators, recruiters, or did other specialty jobs. Mrs. Richter served from June 1918 until the end of December 1920 in New Orleans. Except as nurses, women were phased out of the Navy after the Great War ended and they did not again appear in uniform until 1942.


Sources: Louisiana and California birth records; California marriage record; Census; Navy muster rolls; Chalmette National Cemetery interment record; Naval History and Heritage Command. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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