Cmdr. Thomas C. Durkin

Cmdr. Thomas C. Durkin

Retired U.S. Navy


Beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Cmdr. Thomas Charles Durkin, Retired U.S. Navy, passed away Father's Day, June 16, 2013 to be eternally reunited with the love of his life, Nancy Day Durkin. Nancy was the daughter of Jackson County Judge Earl Day, sister of John Day, rancher, and Ben Day, former Oregon Senator.

Tom was born September 8, 1915 in Hell's Kitchen, New York City to Thomas William Durkin and Julia Marie Dufflemeyer Durkin. He attended and graduated from the New York Military Academy 1928-1932 and Syracuse University 1933-1937.

Tom was a Veteran of WWII serving in the Pacific Theater. He was a flight instructor for two years in Pensacola, Fla., and in Corpus Christi and Dallas, Texas. Before he joined the USS Hornet, he had a tour of combat duty ducking ack-ack (antiaircraft) on Eniwetok, Tarawa, and Kwajalein flying from the USS Sangamon, a jeep carrier. He was then transferred to Torpedo Squadron V17 on the USS Hornet as an Executive Officer from 1944-45. Shot down over the Sea of Japan, he finished the war in a POW camp. Upon liberation, VJ Day, he was transferred to a hospital ship then onto San Diego, Calif. for rehabilitation. Medals he was awarded were the Navy Cross; Distinguished Flying Cross; and a Purple Heart. In 1961, he retired from the Navy, moved from the Presidio housing to the Richmond District and after a brief stint as a salesman, he worked for the Bank of America until retirement.

Tom and Nancy were longtime members of the Presidio Golf Club. One of Tom's hobbies was gardening, and was especially fond of roses and gladiolas. His friends knew him as the life of the party' with his wit, humor, and quick smile.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy; son, Timothy James; and parents Thomas William and Julia Marie Dufflemeyer Durkin.

Survivors include his son, William Durkin, wife Bernadette, and grandchildren, Carleen, Mara, and Valerie Durkin, San Francisco, Calif.; and his daughter, Julie Thompson, husband David, Lake Creek, Ore., grandchildren, Tim Peschiera, Springfield, Sara Thompson, Butte Falls, Natalie Case, husband James, great-grandchildren, Evan and Sienna Case, Trail, Ore.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors and staff at the VA Medical Center at Fort Miley, San Francisco, Calif.

A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 29, 2013 at Saint Cecilia's Church, 2555 17th Ave., San Francisco, Calif. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the USS Hornet Museum, P.O. Box 460, Alameda, CA 94501.

Arrangements by Duggan's Serra Mortuary, Daly City, Calif. Online condolences at

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