TOM J CRESS
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HONORED ON PANEL 1E, LINE 4 OF THE WALL

TOM JOSEPH CRESS

WALL NAME

TOM J CRESS

PANEL / LINE

1E/4

DATE OF BIRTH

03/07/1934

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TRI

DATE OF CASUALTY

01/06/1961

HOME OF RECORD

MILWAUKEE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Milwaukee County

STATE

WI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

LT

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR TOM JOSEPH CRESS
POSTED ON 3.27.2022
POSTED BY: John Fabris

honoring you...

Thank you for your service to our country so long ago sir. As long as you are remembered you will remain in our hearts forever…..
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POSTED ON 5.8.2021

Final Mission of LT Tom J. Cress

LT Tom J. Cress was a U.S. Navy pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 153 (VA-153), Carrier Air Wing 15 (CVW-15) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA 43). In early 1961, the Coral Sea was on duty in the Far East with the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet as part of a multi-ship carrier task force deployed off the Indochinese Peninsula. On January 6th, she was steaming near the south coast of Honshu Island, Japan, conducting flight operations when LT Cress crashed his Douglas A-4C Skyhawk (#142918) on the deck and was lost in the waters of the Philippine Sea. The accident also killed two airwing personnel and caused major damage to several aircraft parked forward of the portside flight deck. The following is a personal account of the incident by William C. Sherman: “The night Tom was killed, I was working with the flight deck crew as a yellow shirt/plane director. It was late, and Tom was overdue, every plane back but his. I saw his lights (coming in), and it looked as though he was up and down on the horizon. As he came closer to the ship, the landing signal officer gave the red light (abort landing signal), but Tom ignored it, I figured he was either low on fuel or wounded. He landed short, rupturing the (A-4’s) wing tanks. I watched the aircraft become a ball of fire, coming right at myself and my crew. It hit the first plane in the pack, then took out nine more planes on the port side of the bow. There were ordinance men and mechanics working under all the planes on the bow. Two ordinance people were killed. It continues to haunt me to this day.” Flight operations ceased following the crash and search and rescue efforts were initiated. Cress’s remains were not recovered. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and information provided by William C. Sherman (December 1999) at thewall-usa.com]
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POSTED ON 1.6.2020
POSTED BY: John Braun

A-4C Pilot

LT Cress. So early in the SEA involvement. You are remembered.
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POSTED ON 5.8.2018
POSTED BY: Steve Conto, Menasha, WI

The Final Bridge

Tom has a memory marker in the Memorial Area section at Wood National Cemetery. 1st row in from the east, 1st column in from the south.
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POSTED ON 2.22.2018
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

THANK YOU

Dear Lt Tom Cress,
Thank you for your service as an Unrestricted Line Officer (Pilot) from the U.S.S. CORAL SEA. It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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