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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Dabney

Birthplace: Rogers, AR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Bullard

Date of Birth: 23 April 1913

Date of Death: 21 May 2010

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Thomas Bullard Dabney

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas Bullard Dabney

Captain, U.S. Navy

Thomas Bullard Dabney was born on 23 April 1913 in Rogers, AR.

Thomas was the son of Charles and Laura Dabney of Rogers, AR. He joined the U.S. Naval Fleet before receiving an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1932. After graduating in 1936, he was commissioned as an Ensign and served in the North Atlantic with the war in Europe and later became a submarine commander in the Pacific Theater after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He met his wife and lifelong companion, Lillian Elizabeth Lynch from Brooklyn, NY, during training at the USN Submariner School in New London, CT. In the Pacific, he was based out of Fremantle, Western Australia, performing several successful patrols on Japanese convoys. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal by Admiral Nimitz for "gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy."

After the war, he served in Germany as part of the Marshall Plan and the European Recovery Plan. He later took command of the amphibious assault ship the USS Chilton and was instrumental in the relief effort on the siege of Beirut, Lebanon. He retired from active duty at the rank of Captain in 1961.

In retirement, he returned to work for the U.S. Navy as a civilian at the Department of Defense in Washington, DC, on the Rickover Nuclear Submarine Program. He retired in 1979 to St. Petersburg, FL, where he and Lillian lived for the next 25 years, traveling afar and entertaining often. He and Lillian moved to Annapolis in 2006 to be near family during their remaining years after 65 years of marriage.

Tom was a gifted storyteller and considered a close personal friend by all who knew him. An avid admirer and student of Will Rogers, "he never met a man he didn't like," and the same can be said of those that who met him. Simple pleasures punctuated his life; spending time with his family, camping, fishing, hunting and playing tennis, which he played until he was 92 years of age.

As a father of nine children, he delighted in their achievements and adventures, none more so than when they had their own children and he played the role of grandfather. His insatiable appetite for history was only eclipsed by his love of a good story.

Impromptu and subtle, he would captivate and delight his audience with a quick story and a dry wit. His favorite refrain, "oh boy" could be heard as he arose first thing in the morning and at the slightest suggestion of something he might enjoy.

Never one to complain, he managed most things easily and joyfully, even in the waning days of his life. He was a wonderful husband, father, friend and compatriot to all those around him.

Death and Burial

Captain Thomas B. Dabney died on 21 May 2010 of natural causes. He was survived by his wife, Lillian E. Dabney, living in Annapolis, MD. He had nine children, one deceased, Charles P. Dabney; and eight living, Margaret M. Dabney, Lora L. Dabney, and Mary Victoria Conroy, Thomas B. Dabney Jr., Lawrence L. Dabney, Fr. Philip A. Dabney CssR, Richard W. Dabney and David B. Dabney; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Honoree ID: 8208   Created by: MHOH




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