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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Shannon

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: J.E.

Date of Birth: 07 September 1895

Date of Death: 01 September 1918

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Thomas J. E. Shannon

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Thomas J.E. Shannon
Sergeant, U.S. Army
World War I

Thomas J. E. Shannon was born on 7 September 1895 to Thomas Jefferson and Mary Elizabeth (Nugent) Shannon. He was one of six siblings: John, Julia, Thomas, Charles, Walter, and Joseph.

In 1900 the family came to live at 96th Street in Brooklyn, NY. Tom attended school there and, in 1909, he became a newspaperman for the "Brooklyn Standard Union" in the advertising department. His strongest characteristic was perseverance; when others failed, he would succeed.

Military Service

On 20 April 1914 during the skirmishes with Mexico, he volunteered for the 23rd Infantry Regiment, the local National Guard regiment from Brooklyn. During the Pancho Villa uprising, he served 3 years along the Mexican border. On 23 July 1916 he achieved the rank of Corporal in the U.S. Army and by October 31st he was promoted to Sergeant. From there he went on to serve in Europe with the 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division.

On 1 September 1918 Tom was shot in the stomach, and without modern-day medical intervention, he died in agony six hours later; six days before his 23rd birthday.

When Thomas went to Europe, he left behind his fiancée, Helen McGrath. She was devastated when she heard that he had been killed. After deciding to participate in the war, Helen became one of the first female military personnel in the U.S. Navy (Yeoman 1st Class). The females were called "yeomanettes." On 24 November 1920, two years after the armistice, she married Tom's brother, Charles. She was a very special woman and was honored by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1997 when her children gave her uniforms to the government.

In 1930 Tom's mother visited the Flanders Field Cemetery with the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimage.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Thomas J. E. Shannon died on 1 September 1918 of wounds received in action earlier that day. He is buried at Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial in Waregem, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium, in Plot B, Row 3, Grave 20.

Honoree ID: 2200   Created by: MHOH




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