John W. Thomason, Jr.

John W. Thomason, Jr.


Feb. 28, 1893 Birth
1911 Graduate, SHNI
Apr. 6, 1917 Entered United States Marine Corps
Mar. 12, 1944 Death


John William Thomason, Jr. was a graduate of Sam Houston Normal Institute and an officer of the US Marine Corps. He began his military career in World War I, earning a Navy Cross (1918), Silver Star (1918) and Purple Heart for actions on the French battlefield.

A noted author and artist, Thomason wrote eleven illustrated books, among them Fix Bayonets (1926), Gone to Texas (1937), and Lone Star Preacher (1941). Many of his articles, short stories, and books dealt with the military life, drawn on from experience in the Marines, or tales about his native Texas.

Due to medical reasons, Thomason was kept away from the front lines during World War II but toured South and Central America. After stints at the Army and Navy War colleges he was promoted to colonel, but succumbed to his illnesses in a few short years.

The house where Thomason was born and raised still stands in Huntsville at 1207 Avenue J. Constructed between 1891 and 1910, the house and office were originally owned by his father, Dr. John W. Thomason, Sr., a local physician and civic leader.

Tributes to Thomason include the Navy destroyer USS John W. Thomason and, in Huntsville, the Graphic Arts Building and the special collections room of the Newton Gresham Library, which houses a permanent exhibit of his drawings and manuscripts.

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