Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThomas S. Arms was a native of Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1915 and was commissioned an infantry officer. He spent time in China in the 1920s, and later returned to the United States to instruct at the infantry school and with the Ohio National Guard. He came to the China-Burma-India theater at the request of Joseph Stilwell in Nov 1942, and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in Mar 1943. In Jul 1944 he headed up the newly activated 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) "Mars Task Force"; it was his first combat assignment since his promotion as a brigadier general.
ww2dbaseArms was often seen wearing a theater-made Chinese Training and Combat Command patch on his left shoulder. The patch was not approved by the United States War Department, but he wore the patch like many other officers in China at the time to reflect his pride in the combined American-Chinese effort to fight the Japanese in the theater.
ww2dbaseDuring a training maneuver in Oct 1944 Arms was injured in a motor vehicle accident. His responsibilities were passed on to Brigadier General John Willey on 31 Oct 1944.
ww2dbaseSource: Vinegar Joe's War.
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal