Thomas Creed, the son of Thomas C (d. 1950) and Mary Bertha (Roberts) Creed (d. 1935) and the grandson of John S. and Elizabeth J. (Bozarth) Creed, was born on February 19, 1924 in Mexico, Audrain County, Missouri.
Thomas enlisted in the US Army on February 12, 1943 at the age of 19. He was married to (Janelle Lorraine Creed) and had a son Raymond Austin Creed (?). Thomas was 5' 8" tall and weighed 150 pounds, making him a fairly typical man for the time. He had hazel eyes and blond hair. He listed only an elementary school education on enlistment at the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. At the time he enlisted Thomas had been working at the A. P. Greenfire Brick Company.
He served in WWII as a corporal in the 3206th Quartermaster Corps with the US Army and was killed on April 28, 1944 in England and was awarded a Purple Heart. On April 28, Thomas was admitted to the hospital in England and died the same day from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Apparently, Thomas was killed during a disastrous training incident at Slip-on Sands, England -- part of the preparation for the invasion of Normandy. The operation was known as Operation Tiger and was documented in a report titled the Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO. The 3206th Quartermaster Corps was virtually "wiped out" and the incident kept quiet for 30 years after D-Day.
The report says:
In the early morning hours of 28 April 1944, eight Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) were in Lyme Bay, heading towards Slapton Sands, with the assault's follow on force of combat service support soldiers. The losses sustained during this exercise (when it came under attack by German E-boats) were a closely held secret until the end of D-Day invasion to keep the Germans from learning about allied invasion plans. The 3206th Quartermaster Service Company sustained the heaviest losses of any unit the night of 27-28 April 1944. According to the historian Charles MacDonald, in an article written for the June 1988 Army magazine, "When the waters of the English Channel at last ceased to wash bloated bodies ashore, the toll of the dead and missing stood at 198 sailors and 551 soldiers, a total of 749, the most costly training incident involving U.S. forces during World War II."
In general, discipline on deck was poor, due in part to the fact that the loudspeaker systems were put out of order by the explosions and no commands could be given over them. Some men lost valuable time searching for their duffle bags. In some cases there was panic, and men went over the side before the order to abandon ship was given, and were strafed by the E-boats' machine guns fire. Col Eugene M Caffey, 1st (Engineer Special) Brigade commanding officer, later commented, "Officers and NCOs cannot expect their men to remain cool when they themselves seem to go completely crazy."
**Sources: https://qmmuseum.lee.army.mil/d-day/tiger.htm **
Thomas's name is commemorated on a large plaque located inside a bunker in Utah Beach, France (presumably sometime after D-Day by remainng members of his group).
Thomas' wife arranged for a headstone in the Berea cemetery in Missouri after his death. He was initially buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery in England.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.