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is honored on Panel 11E, Line 85 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • Semper Fi

    Posted on 10/17/13 - by A Marine, Quang Tri, Vietnam
    Semper Fi, Marine.
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 10/15/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear LCPL Michael Clair Thomas, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • We Remember

    Posted on 10/10/11 - by Robert Sage
    Michael is buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery.
  • that day

    Posted on 4/8/11 - by art dykman
    if we would have done something differently that day in 65, you would probably still be with us . i miss you buddy
  • The Gettysburg Times Salutes

    Posted on 5/21/10 - by Jim McIlhenney

    United States Marine Corps

    The first member of the 1963 Biglerville High School class to give his life, Michael Clair Thomas, was born the youngest of two boys to Clair S. and Anna Faye Thomas of Arendtsville, on May 24, 1945. The future Marine delivered the Gettysburg Times and enjoyed sports as a youngster = during his high school years he participated in football and track. He also played in the high school band. Michael studied diligently. "He was hard working and always applied himself," remembered fellow classmate Connie Cluck.

    After graduation, Michael accepted a job with National Airlines and trained for his new employer in Minnesota for one year. He then moved to New York City and worked at Kennedy International Airport. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with a friend on October 29, 1965. After completing basic training at Parris Island, S.C., he transferred to Camp Lejeune, N.C. In May 1966, Michael left for Vietnam.

    Stationed at the Marine Corps base at Chu Lai as part of the Headquarters and Service Company of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment, he eventually was shipped north to the city of Dong Ha. From there, a helicopter transported him within sight of the Demilitarized Zone and the border. In a letter to his parents he described he is new surroundings. "We're settled down here for a few days, so I am not sure where we are, but we are only a half mile from the N. Vietnam border," Michael wrote.

    Four months past Michael's 21st birthday, while he was attached to battalion headquarters, a sniper stole his life as his command group moved through the jungle on October 17, 1966.

    When asked to describe his son, Michael's father (a combat veteran of World War II) searched for words - any words - that would adequately capture the essence of a son killed at the prime of his life. He could only reply. "What can I say?"

    Michael now rests in the Gettysburg National Cemetery near fellow Marine and Adams County native Robert Kessel. His name is on Panel 11 east, Line 85.

    Semper Fidelis, Marine!

    Thanks to Wayne E. Motts, military historian researcher, for the above photo and info.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit