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John William Thomason

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Colonel John William Thomason, Jr., USMC “was born 28 February 1893 in Huntsville, Tex. He studied art and was a writer in the editorial department of the Houston Chronicle at the beginning of World War I. Appointed Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in April 1917, he sailed to France with the AEF in 1918. When a German machine gun nest held up a Marine advance at Soissons 18 July 1918, Thomason and one of his men fearlessly advanced on the position and killed 13 of the enemy. For his heroism he received the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. He likewise became noted for his stirring self-illustrated accounts of marines in battle.

Following the First World War he served at many posts of the Corps ashore and afloat and in 1941 made an extensive air survey of South and Central America, for which he received the Air Medal. He served briefly on the staff of Admiral Nimitz in the Pacific and as an instructor in amphibious technique. Promoted to Colonel 30 May 1942, he died at San Diego Naval Hospital 12 March 1944. During his entire career, John William Thomason, Jr., continued to be active as a writer and illustrator, publishing numerous books about marines and on western subjects.”

Colonel John William Thomason, Jr. is the author of A Thomason Sketchbook; Fix Bayonets!; Jeb Stuart; Lone Star Preacher; The Adventures of Davy Crockett (Told Mostly by Himself); Texas Rebel; Gone to Texas; ...and a Few Marines; and, Red Pants And Other Stories.

According to the book description of Fix Bayonets!, “A US Marine Corps Captain's episodic series of sketches illustrating the elite unit's part in such bloody battles as Belleau Wood, the Argonne, and Mont Blanc. Profusely illustrated by the author's own front line drawings.”


One reader of Fix Bayonets! said, “I found an old copy of this book years ago, when there was very little to be found on the USMC in WWI, I am glad to hear it is being published again at this time. My interest in that subject stems from the fact that my Grandfather & his twin brother served in the 5th Marines in WWI.  Even without that connection this is a great book, one of my all time favorites. CPT Thomason keeps you turning pages as you follow the Marines through every battle, where they suffer unbelievable casualty rates. For a book that was published in the 1920's it has a surprisingly contemporary feel, and is an easy, "must" read for anyone with an interest in the Marines or an American unit in WWI.  As a personal aside, I was looking at my Grandpa's discharge papers from 1919, (all hand written back then) and noticed that the officer that signed his discharge was none other than a John W. Thomason, Captain, US Marines, how cool is that?”

Fix Bayonets!
John W. Thomason Jr.  More Info
Jeb Stuart
John William Thomason  More Info
A Thomason Sketchbook
John W. Thomason  More Info
Jeb Stuart
John W. Jr. Thomason  More Info
Lone Star Preacher
Jr. Lt. Col. John W. Thomason  More Info
The Adventures of Davy Crockett (Told Mostly by Himself)
Jr. John W. Thomason  More Info
Texas Rebel by John W. Thomason, Jr. by John W. Thomason, Jr.
Jr. John W. Thomason  More Info
Gone to Texas (Review Copy w/slip laid in)
John W., Jr. Major, U.S. Marine Corp Thomason  More Info
...and a Few Marines
John W. Thomason Jr.  More Info
Red Pants And Other Stories
Jr. John W. Thomason  More Info

One reader of ...and a Few Marines said, “This book is the finest, single collection of short stories ever written about pre-World War Two Marines. Dealing primarily with Marines stationed in pre-war China in the early 1900's through 1938, Thomason, a Marine Officer, who would later become one of the most popular writers for the Saturday Evening Post, writes with a fine ear for the language and a detailed knowledge of the Marines on the "China Station". The book is also illustrated with excellent line drawings by the author, who in addition to being a writer, was also an outstanding illustrator. It is a fascinating glimpse of a bygone era, both culturally and militarily. The interactions between the locals, the Marines and the ex-patriots makes you yearn for simpler times when just walking along the Bund was an adventure, just before you meet your next White Russian goddess. If you were ever a Marine, or even just wanted to be a Marine, this book will introduce you to the mystique of being a "Soldier of the Sea". I treasure this book, having obtained a copy printed in 1923, however, it is available for your total enjoyment, in its' current printing, provided there are any copies left.”

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