Sprague, Thomas Lamison, VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
132X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Naval Flight Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1949-1952, 132X, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
Service Years
1917 - 1952
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Robert Cox, YNCS to remember Sprague, Thomas Lamison, VADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Lima, Ohio

Date of Passing
Sep 17, 1972
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity

I created this profile of Vice Admiral Sprague as part of my research of the Battle Off Samar.  Sprague was the Commander of the American Task Group 77.4 and Task Unit 77.4.1 (Taffy I).  The little escort carriers (CVEs) he commanded were an intergal part of winning the war in the Pacific.

Please visit my Battle Off Samar famous Naval officer profiles:

  • VADM Clifton Sprague
  • ADM Felix Stump
  • VADM Ralph Ofstie
  • RADM William Sample
  • RADM Robert Copeland
  • RADM Leon Kintberger
  • CDR Ernest Evans
  • Please add Admiral Sprague to your list of shipmates and visit often.

    See my website for more insight:  www.bosamar.com

    Other Comments:

    • Thomas Lamison Sprague was born on October 2, 1894 in Lima, Ohio.

    • Graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1917 (although no relation to Admiral Clifton "Ziggy" Sprague, the two both attended Annapolis later graduating from the same class).

    • Serving aboard the USS Cleveland (C-19) assigned to the trans-Atlantic convoy from June 1917 until April 1918 and, after serving on shore duty for a brief period, Sprague assisted in the official commission of the USS Montgomery (DD-121) in July. As a member of the ship's anti-submarine patrol, Sprague would eventually come to command the destroyer from January to November 1920.

    • After participating in naval flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station (NAS), Sprague served as a staff officer under Pacific Air commander Admiral H.V. Butler from 1921 to 1923.

    • In 1926, Sprague was transferred to the USS Maryland (BB-46) serving with Observation Squadron 1 for two years before being stationed at the San Diego Naval Air Station in 1928.

    • Between 1931 and 1936, Sprague served as commander of Scouting Squadron 6, director of the Philadelphia naval aircraft factory aeronautical engine lab, and air officer onboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) before being reassigned as to Pensacola as superintendent of Naval Air Training from 1937 to 1940.

    • Serving as executive officer onboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) on neutrality patrol in the Atlantic for a year, Sprague helped commission the escort carrier USS Charger (AVG-30) and commanded the vessel during training missions in the Chesapeake from February to December 1942.

    • After serving staff duty from January to June 1943, Sprague commissioned the USS Intrepid (CV-11) in August, and commanded the aircraft carrier in raids against the Truk and Marshall Islands during the first two months of 1944.

    • Promoted to Rear Admiral in June 1944, Sprague commanded carrier Division 22 which covered the assault on Guam from July-August and Morotai in September.

    • In command of Task Group 77.4 ("Taffy 1") during the Battle of Leyte Gulf from October 24-25 1944.

    • Briefly commanded Pacific training carriers under Carrier Division 11, before leading Carrier Division 3 off Okinawa from April-June 1945.

    • Commanding task Force 38.1 during the final air operations against Japan by the war's end.

    • Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel in 1946 serving until his promotion to Vice Admiral in August 1949.

    • Appointed commander of the Pacific Fleet Air Force in October, Sprague would hold this post until his retirement in April 1952.

    • Briefly returned to active duty to negotiate with the Philippine government over the status of U.S. air bases in 1956.

    • Died on September 17, 1972.

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     Duty Stations
    US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)US NavyNaval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLNAS Pensacola
    School Assignments - StaffCommander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)USS Maryland (BB-46)NAS San Diego
    VS-6USS Saratoga (CV-3)USS Ranger (CV-4)USS Charger (CVE-30)
    Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)USS Intrepid (CV-11)USS Sangamon (CVE-26)Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
      1914-1917, 000X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
      1917-1918, 000X, USS Cleveland (C-19)
      1918-1920, 000X, USS Montgomery (DD-121/DM-17)
      1920-1920, 132X, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
      1920-1921, 132X, NAS Pensacola
      1920-1921, 137X, Naval Flight Training
      1921-1923, 132X, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
      1926-1928, 132X, USS Maryland (BB-46)
      1926-1928, 132X, VO-1
      1928-1931, 132X, NAS San Diego
      1931-1933, 132X, VS-6
      1933-1934, 132X, Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia
      1935-1936, 132X, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
      1937-1940, 132X, NAS Pensacola
      1940-1941, 132X, USS Ranger (CV-4)
      1941-1942, 132X, USS Charger (CVE-30)
      1943-1943, 132X, Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)
      1943-1944, 132X, USS Intrepid (CV-11)
      1944-1944, 132X, USS Sangamon (CVE-26)
      1944-1944, 132X, Carrier Division 22 (COMCARDIV 22)
      1944-1944, 132X, CTG 77.4
      1944-1945, 132X, Carrier Division 11 (COMCARDIV 11)
      1945-1945, 132X, Carrier Division 3 (COMCARDIV 3)
      1946-1949, 132X, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
      1949-1952, 132X, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
     Combat and Non-Combat Operations
      1917-1918 World War I/Convoy Duty - Azores and Gibraltar areas
      1941-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
      1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
      1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)
      1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Morotai
      1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Samar
      1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
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