Fate has practiced its last irony on a 20-year-old Lubbock Marine Corps corporal who begged so impassionedly more than three years ago that he was allowed to quit school and enlist.
Cpl. Thomas R. Stanford is dead. The Army bomber that in a few hours would have deposited him in almost hailing distance of his mother, Mrs. Ted U. Glover of 1511-A Avenue M, crashed on the west coast a few days after Cpl. Stanford, sick of his wounds and of tropical diseases, had reached the states after a 28-day voyage from the Southwest Pacific.
Cpl. Stanford talked with his mother 23 minutes over the telephone. He was so proud of his service—interrupted only by wounds suffered in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a bayonet in his stomach at Guadalcanal, hospitalization on Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.
“I’m covered . . . I have three sheets of paper to show,” he said, which meant something especially important to Mrs. Glover, even if its significance was vague to her. He said he had been diagnosed as of no value in active service on the fighting front, but that he was to be transferred into recruiting duties. He still could fight, in his limited way—and would. Hadn’t his work in headquarters office in New Caledonia, his last active assignment, proven that?
But Thursday [October 7, 1943] he crashed to his death, near San Bernardino, Calif. His brother, Master Technical Sgt. H. R. Stanford, Jr., 22, also in the Southwest Pacific more than three years with the Marine Corps, will have to assume the battle for both.
The mother said she had not been advised by the Marine Corps when the body of her son would be sent here, but expected to learn probably today. “He was a child when he went away,” she said. “He reached his maturity far away from me. It is a sad day, but I can be proud of him.”
The Marine’s father and a grandmother, Mrs. Ollie Stanford, live at 2760 Rouse Street in Fort Worth, and Mr. and Mrs. T. G. Black of F!oydada are other grandparents.