Last Update November 18, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Thomas Patrick McGrath, LCDR, USN


Bisbee, Arizona

    Thomas Patrick McGrath was born on 21 November 1927 in Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona to Thomas Orrin McGrath and Ana Mae Tong Owen McGrath.  At the time of his birth, his father Thomas Orrin was earning a living as an auditor for a copper mining company in Cochise County.  Thomas Patrick was the youngest of the couple's four children to include, Ruth, Margaret and Martin. 

     Thomas Patrick attended and graduated Tucson High School and entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1936.  Four years later, he graduated with the USNA Class of 1940. 

     According to the profile found on, Ensign Thomas Patrick McGrath was serving on board the Tennessee Class battleship USS California (BB-44) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.  He was then assigned to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet in 1941.  This same source reports he was then on the Pompano which is confirmed by a Navy Muster Report dated 30 December 1942 as a Lieutenant.  The Pompano was at Pearl Harbor at the time and had completed three combat war patrols and was laid up in the Naval Shipyard at Pearl Harbor. With McGrath on board, the Pompano made three more combat war patrols (#4, #5, and #6).  On 20 August 1943, Pompano departed Midway Island for its 7th patrol. 

     Lieutenant Commander Thomas Patrick McGrath was lost at sea on the Porpoise class diesel electric submarine USS Pompano (SS-181) on or about 17 September 1943 in the Shiriyasaki Sea.  There were 77 men lost.  McGrath was submarine's Executive Officer at that time. 

     Because of his heroic actions during his Navy service, Thomas Patrick McGrath was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star. 


   More information about Runner and the names of its crewmembers, go to the following links:

The source for the above plaque is
     Thomas Patrick McGrath never married.  His father died in 1944 and his mother passed away in 1967. 


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Website developed and maintained by Ray Olszewski USS TUNNY (SSG-282) 1958-1962 Boat Yeoman YN1(SS) and IS1(SS) USSVI Life Member and Author of USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute and Memoir.