Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jack Thorp, Iwo Jima Vet and Saltairian

Saltairian Jack Thorp of Saltaire and Norwalk, CT, died on July 8, 2010. Photo by Jeff Weinlandt

Jack is shown here in 1957 in what he said was his favorite picture on He suggested this caption for this picture: "Big Jack Thorp (second from left) and Big Bill Weinlandt (fifth from left) used to routinely hit balls onto the church roof."
Jack was as classic a Saltairian as they come. big, brawny, athletic, family guy, jock, father to great kids who were everybody's friends in Saltaire.
Great family. Great guy. Helped make Saltaire the magic place it is.
Deepest Sympathies to Mrs. Thorp; Pam, Seine, Gabby and all who knew him.

Jack was husband of Gabrielle S. Thorp, father of Pam, Seine, and Gabby. He has resided in Norwalk for over 60 years.He was a veteran of World War II. He was a 1st Class Petty Officer (Sonarman) and served on destroyers for 3 years in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres.He participated in the invasions of the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.At Iwo Jima, his ship, the U.S.S. Hyman (DD732), was assigned to Task Force 51 Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet. Early in the battle, his ship gave close-in fire support for the Marines as they ascended the peak of Mt. Suribachi. Mr. Thorp was one of the very few who actually witnessed the famous raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi.The captain of his ship was awarded the Navy Cross (second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor) for extraordinary heroism in saving their ship and most of its crew after it was severely disabled by Japanese Kamikaze attacks during the invasion of Okinawa.Mr. Thorp was educated at Athens High School (PA), Susquehanna University (PA), and the New York University Graduate School of Business.Mr. Thorp was an all-round athlete in both High School and College. He participated in basketball, football, baseball and track. He was the senior captain of basketball at Susquehanna University during the 1949-1950 season.He was in advertising for over 30 years, 25 of which with Young & Rubicam Inc. in New York City.While at Young & Rubicam, he managed accounts for such major advertisers as Cluett Peabody (Arrow), the Borden Company, the 3M Company, National Distillers, Dictaphone, Time Inc., and Manufacturers Hanover Trust.He also handled several pro-bona accounts for the U.S. Government.Mr. Thorp was active in Big Brothers of New York City in the 1950's and 60's and supervised their advertising and marketing programs on a volunteer basis for many years.He was a commercial real estate broker for several years in the Fairfield County area in the 80's and a driving instructor for over 10 years with the Lewis School of Driving in New Canaan.He never retired. For the past 7 years, he has been Dockmaster for the City of Norwalk at the Norwalk Boating Center.Mr. Thorp was an inveterate traveler. He traveled extensively in Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Egypt, Morocco, China, Russia and India.Mr. Thorp was a member of the Catholic War Veterans (Sayre, PA), the American Legion (Athens, PA), the Iwo Jima Survivors Association of Connecticut and the New Canaan YMCA.In addition to his wife Gabrielle, he is survived by three daughters; Pamela Thorp of New York City, Seneath Bostrom and husband Robert of Duxbury, MA, and Gabrielle Thorp and husband Joseph Crippes of Phoenix, AZ as well as three grandsons; Jack Bostrom, Austin Crippes and Kyle Crippes.He is also survived by a brother Edward and his wife Dona of Atlanta, GA, and his sister Jeanne and her husband Paul Bozung of Seaford, Long Island and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by both a brother Charles and a sister Anna.. Donations can be made to Iwo Jima Survivors Association, C/O Vincent Thomas, 35 Hemlock Road, Brandford, CT 06405, or Connecticut Hospice at

1 comment:

Gabrielle Thorp said...

My father truly loved Saltaire. I am grateful that he saw the true potential of the "Saltaire Experience" for his family and brought us there at a young age. What a great ride we have had knowing this special place unlike any other in the world. For my father, his trusty chair on the front porch was his great escape from the "real world". His life-size John Wayne cut-out adorned the front door and gave those who passed by a good chuckle and friendly "hello" opportunity. I miss him beyond words but know he is watching over (all of us) as I speak these words.