Richard Ridley Thew never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on November 18, 1917 in California. His mother was born in Michigan and his father was born in Minnesota. His father worked as a telephone company lineman and later as a farmer. Still later he worked as an electrician. Richard had an older brother and sister.
He enlisted in the navy and became a fire controlman first class on the submarine USS Shark. When the war started, Shark was on station in the Philippines. Sent out to sea, it had no success in sinking any enemy vessels and dodged a couple of close calls when engaged with enemy warships. After reporting in on February 7, 1942 Shark was never heard from again.
Records obtained from the Japanese Navy after the war suggest that Shark was sunk by the Japanese destroyer Yamakaze on February 11, 1942. Fire Controlman Thew was one of 54 officers and crew that were killed in this attack. It was the first American submarine sank by the enemy in World War 2.
There is a memorial to the crew of the USS Shark located at Seal Beach, California. There is another memorial in Oklahoma.
Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Richard be profiled.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100