They were dubbed the greatest generation, and after spending an hour or so with Linwood Thumm, known more affectionately as "Tick," it's easy to understand why. Two weeks shy of his 100th birthday, his recollection of his service in the Coast Guard during
WWII are as vivid as if he just left the battle. Humble about his service yet excited to share his memories, this is just a brief glimpse into the story of Tick Thumm.
Thumm’s military service began in 1942 with the U.S. Navy, when he answered America's call after WWII broke out. His service in the Navy, however, didn't extend any further than the entrance process when, according to Thumm, he was turned down because he didn't have three matching molars. Not willing to take no for an answer, Thumm turned to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Having grown up on the water, Thumm figured he would take to the Coast Guard like the Wright brothers took to flying. After joining the Coast Guard and becoming a seaman 1st class, he tested for the Coast Guard Academy. Thumm’s proficiency in math paid off on the exam when he achieved a near perfect score on the celestial navigation portion. Having entered and successfully completed the program, he became an officer and was given command of an 83-foot cutter crew stationed at Naval Base Little Creek in what is now Virginia Beach, Virginia.