Chief Petty Officer Thomas Richmond Code, 31, died at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego on Jan. 4, 1972.
Code was born on Oct. 26, 1940, in Bozeman, Mont. He graduated from Bozeman Senior High School in May 1959. He married the former Carol Lux on July 7, 1962, in Bozeman.
He joined the Navy on Oct. 5, 1959. He attended boot camp at the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego, where he was selected as Outstanding Recruit. Upon graduation, he attended Machinery Repairman "A" School at the United States Naval Training Center.
He then spent almost 4 1/2 years onboard USS Sierra. Tom participated in the Cuban Blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis while onboard Sierra.
His next duty station, for approximately a year, was USS DuPONT.
He then completed a six-week course at Personnelman C-1 School in Bainbridge, Md., which led to him serving as a Navy recruiter for a little more than three years in Missoula, Mont.
Tom then attended Survival School at the Naval Construction Training Command in Port Hueneme, Calif., in preparation for an assignment with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (Seabee) Eight in Da Nang, Vietnam. While there, Tom participated in several combat engagements.
He then attended Machinery Repairman "B" School at the Naval Training Center, where he achieved an outstanding grade of 94.3 and was Honor Man of his class.
USS Samuel Gompers was Tom's next assignment. One of his accomplishments onboard was revamping the entire antiquated Machine Shop Central Tool Room into a modern, efficient, organized, automated tool-issue room, saving the Navy tremendous sums of money in lost and broken tools. Tom was selected from 90 Chief Petty Officers onboard Samuel Gompers for the position of Chief-Master-at-Arms. Tom went on two Western Pacific (Westpac) cruises while onboard Samuel Gompers .
His impressive Navy career was cut short when he died on Jan. 4, 1972, leaving his widow (Carol) and two children (Kelly - age 4 1/2 and Michael - age 3).
A brief memorial service was held for Tom on Samuel Gompers, where more than 200 men attended, including the captain, the executive officer, other officers, many chiefs and numerous enlisted men.
He received numerous commendations during his 12 years in the Navy. Throughout his career, he embarked on a continuous program of self-improvement and self-education, devoting a great deal of time to completing many college-level classes through correspondence. He constantly kept himself updated and current in his technical knowledge. He was highly recommended for consideration under the Warrant Officer Program and had passed the test for advancement to Machinery Repairman Senior Chief (E-8). Unfortunately, he passed away before these achievements could be implemented.
Code's awards included the Navy Achievement Medal with "V" Device, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Fleet Marine Force Combat Operations Insignia and 4 Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal Color with Palm), Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions Medal, First Class Color with Palm), and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device.
Funeral services were held on Jan. 12, 1972, at the Dokken-Nelson Funeral Chapel in Bozeman. Burial with full military honors was at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Bozeman.
Submitted by: Carol Code