Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Peter Tomich

  • Also Known As: Herceg-Tonic, Petar
  • Rank: Chief Watertender
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Utah
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 7, 1941
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, USA

For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, and extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Although realizing that the ship was capsizing as a result of enemy bombing and torpedoing, Tomich remained at his post in the engineering plant of the U.S.S. Utah until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing lost his own life.

Medal of Honor Recipient Peter Tomich
Medal of Honor Recipient Peter Tomich
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: New Jersey
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 4, 1944

    U.S.S. Tomich, presented to the ship by Rear Adm. Monroe Kelly. When the ship was decommissioned on September 20, 1946, Tomich's Medal of Honor was returned to the Navy Department. (No living relatives could be found.) On May 25, 1947 Uath Gov. Herbert B. Maw formally named Tomich an honorary citizen of Utah, the state in whose honor the battleship on which Tomich gave his life was named. On the occasion Rear Adm. Mahlon S. Tisdale, Commander of the U.S. Navy Base, San Francisco, awarded Tomich's Medal of Honor to the State of Utah as the official guardian of the dead hero. The presentation was made with full military honors in the rotunda of the Utah Capitol.

  • Born: June 3, 1893, Prolog, Austria
  • Died: December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Territory)
  • Buried: Remains not recovered from U.S.S. Utah; National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl)(Wall of the Missing), Honolulu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, HI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Utah Historical Society (duplicate Medal), Salt Lake City, UT ; Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC

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