Tenney presents congressional record, flag from Capitol to family of WWII vet

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ILION — Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, has presented the family of Thomas Strayer Nelson, an Ilion native and 100-year-old World War II veteran, with an official copy of the congressional record, where Tenney recognized Nelson’s heroism in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Tenney also presented the family with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol in honor of Nelson’s heroic service. 

On December 7, 1941, 19-year-old Thomas Nelson was assigned to the USS Wasmuth in Pearl Harbor when the Japan launched its attack on the U.S.

As the attack began, Nelson jumped into action to defend the Wasmuth, its crew and many other lives.

“Tom’s heroism did not stop at Pearl Harbor; nearly a year later the Wasmuth was hit by two mines in the Pacific. The Wasmuth sank, but its 134-man crew was rescued, in large part due to Nelson’s efforts,” said Tenney.

Nelson is now one of the oldest living survivors of the attacks at Pearl Harbor. 

“It was my incredible honor to meet Mr. Thomas Nelson earlier this year to celebrate his 100th birthday and recognize his legacy as one of the oldest living survivors of the attacks at Pearl Harbor,” Tenney said.

“His heroic military career will now live in the Halls of Congress forever, enshrined in the official congressional record,” the New Hartford Republican added.

“It is a fitting tribute to this remarkable man. It is because of brave men like Mr. Nelson and America’s Greatest Generation that our country remains a bastion of freedom and liberty for all,” Tenney said

“I am grateful to Mr. Nelson for his heroism and was honored to present his family with these tokens of our community’s gratitude,” the congresswoman added.

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