Obituary: Jim Thomas ENC


James Sidney Thomas
December 8, 1939 - July 20 2017

With deep regret we announce that  on July 20, 2017  Jim Thomas died of a massive Stroke leaving behind a vast gap in the Combatant Craft Community. Jim was a tireless editor to  and co-founder of Combatant Craft Crewman Assc (CCCA). He was always busy compliling the Alumni list and singuarly responsible for tracking down and recruiting most of the new Alumni on the website. For him It was not just a bunch of good old boys telling war stories, it was a Brotherhood. He always made time for anyone who had a question and offered  sound advise for those who need guidence.

Jim Thomas was much more than that. He was Living History and a founding Father of Naval Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen.  

He was a Plank Owner of Boat Support Unit ONE established in 1964. and made the first NSW Boat deployment to Da Nang Vietnam as a crew man on PTF-1 operating under MACVSOG. He would also crew Nasty Class PTFs in later deployments. He would train the first PCF crews at BSU-1 (Boat Support Unit One) and the Phillippine Navy  A Engineman by rate he was a expert in his field and was chosen to man the new Patrol Gunboats (PG) of the Asheville class. He was attached to the USS Ashville, PG-84 on their deployment to Vietnam, and was awarded the Navy Commendation medal with V for Valor. Returning to BSU-1 for a second tour at the command he deployed to the Rivers of Vietnam as Part of MST-2 Det Alpha (Mobile Support Team Two) as CPO (Chief Petty Officer) of the detachment using MSSC and LSSC combatant craft to insert and extract SEALs on combat operations. Jim completed five deployments to Vietnam.

After Vietnam because of his expertise with the PTF boats he would be detached to the GREEK Navy to teach the Greek sailors the operation off the PTF Boats that they had bought.

He would retire  from the Navy ENC a proud CHIEF PETTY OFFICER.

We are fortunate that Jim Thomas left his stories here on war boats for all to read. One of them is The First 3 Swiftboats in Vietnam.

(Comments provided by GMCM Jim Gray (SWCC) Ret.)

Jim's online Career  is Here.

Link to Official Family Memory Page HERE


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