Baskett, Thomas Slack (Tom), CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1952, 112X, USS Robert K. Huntington (DD-781)
Service Years
1935 - 1965
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Golden Dragon
Neptune Subpoena
Panama Canal
Plank Owner

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Baskett, Thomas Slack (Tom), CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
St. Louis
Last Address
Webster Groves, Missouri

Date of Passing
Feb 07, 2002
Location of Interment
Middlebury Cemetery - Middlebury, Vermont
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationSubmarine Veterans of WW IIMilitary Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1935, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1939, Submarine Veterans of WW II
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
Other Comments:
To view award citations, click on the ribbons in the Ribbon Bar.
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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Southern Philippines Campaign (1945)
Start Year
End Year

On 10 March 1945, the U.S. Eighth Army—under Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger—was formally ordered by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to clear the rest of Mindanao, with the start of Operation VICTOR V, with expectations that the campaign would take four months. Eichelberger had misgivings about the projected timetable for the operation, but nonetheless, his Eighth Army staffers came up with a more effective plan.

Instead of the expected headlong frontal assault on the Japanese defenses, the plan called for securing a beachhead at Illana Bay in the undefended west, then a drive eastward more than a 100 mi (160 km) through jungle and mountains to strike from the rear. The objective, which called for achieving surprise and pressing forward quickly and aggressively by the invading forces, deemed Eichelberger, could unhinge the Japanese both physically and psychologically. The key to the operation's success involved the beachhead performance of the landing force and the ability of the participating units to maintain the momentum of their attack, preempting Japanese reactions, and hopefully before the rainy season started which would complicate movement in the island.

Ground operations were assigned to X Corps under Maj. Gen. Franklin C. Sibert, with Maj. Gen. Roscoe B. Woodruff's 24th Infantry Division and Maj. Gen. Clarence A. Martin's 31st Infantry Division as principal combat units. Amphibious Task Group 78.2 (TG 78.2)—under Rear Adm. Albert G. Noble—was tasked to carry the 24th Division and X Corps headquarters to the assault beaches near Malabang by 17 April to secure a forward airfield. Five days later, the 31st Division was expected to be in Parang, 20 mi (32 km) south, located near Highway 1, the route to Davao.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
To Year
Last Updated:
Oct 16, 2010
Personal Memories

Refit completed and her crew rested, Tench (now under Tom Baskett)[10] returned to sea early in May for her second war patrol. That patrol took her again to the Japanese homeland, but this time to the Tsugaru Strait between HonshÅ« and HokkaidÅ?, the northern entrance to the Sea of Japan. Her mission was to interdict Japanese shipping as it attempted to run north and south between the Kuril Islands and Tokyo. Her first contact came on 25 May and proved to be an enemy warship. While patrolling on the surface, she sighted a periscope approaching her out of the fog. She submerged immediately, picked the enemy up on her sound gear, and evaded him successfully. During the waning days of May, she sighted little enemy shipping of consequence though her gun crews dispatched a number of motor luggers, picket boats, steam trawlers, and other small craft to the depths.

On 1 June, however, fortune began to favor the submarine. That evening, she encountered the 861-ton Mikamisan Maru hugging the coast of Honshū near Shirlya. Tench stalked her quarry until 0700 the next morning when she caught the cargoman about one-half mile (900 m) off shore. In a surface attack, the submarine scored two torpedo hits on Mikamisan Maru and sent her to the bottom. Two days later, Tench scored a single hit amidships on the 517-ton Ryujin Maru which proved sufficient to sink her. For five days, the submarine worked her way back and forth across the strait, dodging enemy patrols and picket boats but without finding suitable targets. Then, on 9 June, she came across the biggest game of her wartime career: the 2857-ton freighter Kamishika Maru. Tench sank the merchantman in a submerged attack and spent the rest of the day evading spirited and persistent enemy retaliation. The following day, she dispatched an enemy tanker, the 834-ton Shoei Maru Number Six in another submerged attack. Again, the Japanese patrol force went after the submarine with everything it had, but failed even to come close.

In fact, Tenchâ??s closest call was self-inflicted. On 11 June, she engaged a Japanese destroyer in a night surface attack. After firing a salvo of torpedoes at the enemy from her bow tubes, Tench put her rudder hard over to turn and retired rapidly. Just then, the lookouts reported one of her own Mark 14 torpedoes running in a wide circle[11] and on a collision course with Tench. Frantic moments of evasive action ensued, but the torpedo hung tenaciously on to its collision course. Once again fortune smiled. The torpedo ran deeply and passed directly under the submarine's stern. Tench continued her retirement unaware of the results of her attack -- in all probability unsuccessful -- but heartened by her escape from what had seemed certain destruction. After five more days of hunting enemy shipping during which she encountered and sank a motor trawler with gunfire, Tench headed toward Midway Island, her score for the patrol (according to JANAC) four ships for 5,000 tons.[12]

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  63 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Earl James, Cox, (1943-1946)
  • Alumbaugh, Maurice, PO1, (1942-1953)
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Emerson, Robert, PO2
  • Gibson, Clarence, PO3, (1943-1945)
  • Haan, Harvey, PO3, (1944-1946)
  • Hammond, Riley, LT, (1943-1973)
  • Harper, John Jacob, LTJG, (1942-1946)
  • Riley, David, LTJG
  • Rush, Cecil, CPO, (1941-1962)
  • Sherrill, Joe, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Sutter, William, CPO, (1942-1945)
  • Traeger, Leslie W., PO3, (1944-1950)
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