Kirkpatrick, Thomas Leroy, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Christian
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1937-1941, 410X, USS Arizona (BB-39)
Service Years
1918 - 1941
Chaplain Christian

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese), BM2 to remember Kirkpatrick, Thomas Leroy, CAPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Cozad, NE
Last Address
Webster Grove, MO

Casualty Date
Dec 07, 1941
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Other Explosive Device
World War II
Location of Interment
USS Arizona Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On the fateful morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, Chaplain Kirkpatrick was nearing the end of his Navy career and was reportedly in the wardroom of ARIZONA with some of his fellow officers enjoying a cup of coffee when the Japanese attack commenced against the fleet moored in Pearl Harbor.  Presumably, when general quarters sounded with the announcement, "THIS IS NOT A DRILL," he rushed to his battle station on the same deck in the nearby sickbay to minister to any casualties.  Within minutes after the attack began the last Japanese bomb to fall on ARIZONA likely penetrated the armored deck near the ammunition magazines located in the forward section of the ship.  While not enough of the ship is still intact to judge the exact location, its effects are indisputable.  About seven seconds after the bomb hit, the forward magazines detonated in a cataclysmic explosion, mostly venting through the sides of the ship and destroying much of the interior structure of the forward part of the ship.  In an instant Chaplain Kirkpatrick, along with 1,176 other crewmembers, was killed of the 1,512 crewmen on board at the time.  On December 5, 1941, Chaplain Kirkpatrick prophetically wrote to his friend and fellow chaplain aboard USS NORTH CAROLINA, "This is a tense week with us out here, and before you get this it will be decided one way or another, doubtless."
In his honor the USS KIRKPATRICK (DE-318/DER-318) was commissioned in October 1943 and served until decommissioned in June 1960.  CAPT Kirkpatrick became the first Navy Chaplain to be killed during World War II and lies forever entombed in the remains of ARIZONA on the bottom of Pearl Harbor.  During exploration of the sunken battleship the desk clock from Chaplain Kirkpatrick's quarters was recovered and presented to his family.  In 1996 his son donated the clock for permanent display at the Arizona Memorial Museum in Honolulu.  The clock is pretty much intact except for the face and will forever tell the time at which it stopped - 8:04:35.

[Excert from a tribute written by CDR Roy A. Mosteller, USNR (Ret)]


NOTE: While some documents and other sources have CAPT Kirkpatrick's middle name as "Larcey" most of the official documents - promotion records, WWI draft card, etc - has it as "Leroy". Since he is the person who filled out the draft information and all the other information indicates it is him, I've chosen to list "Leroy" as his middle name.

The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyHQ, Naval Training Center (Cadre/Staff) San Diego, CAUSS Saratoga (CV-3)US Marine Corps (USMC)
USS Arizona (BB-39)
  1918-1918, 410X, Det Navy Yard Washington, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC)
  1918-1919, 410X, NAS Pauillac, France
  1919-1921, 410X, USS North Dakota (BB-29)
  1921-1923, 410X, USS Utah (BB-31)
  1923-1925, 410X, Bureau of Navigation (BuNav)
  1925-1926, 410X, USS Huron (CA-9)
  1926-1927, 410X, USS Pittsburgh (CA-4)
  1927-1930, 410X, Branch Medical Clinic, HQ, Naval Training Center (Cadre/Staff) San Diego, CA
  1930-1932, 410X, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1932-1935, 410X, Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY
  1935-1937, 410X, Naval Station Tutuila, American Somoa
  1937-1937, 410X, Marine Barracks Treasure Island, CA
  1937-1941, 410X, USS Arizona (BB-39)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1918-1918 World War I
  1941-1941 World War II
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
 Colleges Attended 
Colorado College
  1912-1916, Colorado College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  May 17, 1917, WWI draft card information
  Feb 06, 1918, Ordained as a Presbyterian mininster
  Jan 11, 1920, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Sep 05, 1923, Married Genevieve Burnet
  Nov 02, 1924, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Oct 06, 1941, Named Acting Battleforce Chaplain1
  Dec 15, 1941, Navy Chaplain Reported Dead1
  Sep 03, 1943, First Chaplains to Die in Wartime Action1
  Oct 23, 1943, USS Kirkpatrick commissioned1
  May 28, 1955, USS Kirkpatrick1
  Oct 06, 1957, USS Arizona Reunion Set1
  Dec 06, 1973, Chaplains Killed in Pearl Harbor Remembered1
  Sep 23, 2017, War and service memorials1
  Sep 23, 2017, General Photos
 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
United States Navy Memorial Pearl Harbor FallenUSS Arizona MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
World War II FallenWWII Memorial National RegistryThe National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, Pearl Harbor Fallen
  2017, USS Arizona Memorial
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2017, World War II Fallen
  2017, WWII Memorial National Registry
  2017, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor [Verified]
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