Petty Officer 2nd Class Keyth Curnutt of Navy Recruiting District San Antonio had the honor of attending the 100th birthday celebration for WWII Navy Veteran Tom Littleton, Aug. 27.  

Littleton served 4 years in the Navy as a machinist’s mate.  His ship was on her way to Honolulu when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and he was forced to man a 40mm gun and take aim at the enemy planes above.  In his 100 years he has survived the war, prostate cancer and open heart surgery.   He is a beloved member of his community.

Curnutt’s wife, Sarah, grew up down the street from Littleton in the small town of Devine, where he is very well known and respected, especially within his church family. 

Sarah has fond memories of Littleton who, “was always at church every Sunday in a suit and tie,” she said. 

When Curnutt was contacted by the church and asked if he could do something special for this remarkable veteran he was flattered. 

“It felt amazing that they thought of me.  There are other Navy members in the church they could have asked,” he said. 

Senior Chief Navy Counselor Daniel Christmas was also on hand to help Curnutt present to Littleton an American Flag and a paddle commemorating his birthday and years of service. 

Littleton was very appreciative to have these Sailors join in his big celebration and shared with them that he always wondered what it would have been like if he had stayed in the Navy, “but I had a new wife at home I wanted to get back to,” he said.


“It was an honor to present him with a flag in front of so many veterans, friends and family,” said Curnutt.  “There were veterans there from every war fought since WWII and representing every branch of service. To pay respect to a man who did so much and paved the way for Sailors like me was the most humbling thing I have done in my Navy career so far.”

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)