PEEKING INTO THE PAST – Thomas Crayton and Pearl Harbor

Published 10:54 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Thomas Edgar Crayton was born Aug. 15, 1916, and grew up in the Oakboro area. He joined the Navy during the late 1930s. According to an article about him found in the Jan. 29, 1943 Stanly News & Press, Crayton was first assigned to the aircraft carrier Yorktown but soon requested to serve aboard a submarine. During late 1941, he served aboard a mine sweeper that during the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 7 finished sweeping for mines at Pearl Harbor. The ship tied up to the docks and after the men headed below to have breakfast, they heard the bombs being dropped by the Japanese. The ship was ordered away from the docks and did what it could to look for mines that might have been dropped by the Japanese planes. Later, Crayton asked to return to submarine duty where he was still serving in the Navy when he passed away March 28, 1952. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. {Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}