Thomas Greyson Poats Jr.
War: World War II
Class: 1935 Clemson University
Home Town: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Service: Army Air Corps
Unit: 32nd Photographic Squadron, 5th Reconnaissance Group
Date of Death: April 20, 1944
Details of Death: Killed in Action along with other Air Corps members of the 32ndRecon Squadron, 5th Photo Group when US Transport SS Paul Hamilton was sunk as a result of enemy action in the North African area near Cape Bengut. See details below.
The SS Paul Hamilton (Hull Number 227) was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Paul Hamilton, the third United States Secretary of the Navy. On her fifth voyage, the SS Paul Hamilton was traveling from the United States to the European theatre when it was attacked 30 miles (48 km) off the coast of Cape Bengut, Algiers, in the Mediterranean Sea. On the evening of 20 April 1944, 23 German Ju88 bombers of III./KG 26, I. and III/.KG 77 attacked convoy UGS 38 SS Paul Hamilton was sailing with.
One aerial torpedo hit detonated the cargo of high explosives and bombs, and the ship and crew disappeared within 30 seconds. All hands were lost. Of the 580 men aboard, only one body was recovered.
Other: Memorialized, North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage Tunisia
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