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Coweta County Historical Markers

Gravesite of Lt. (jg) Thomas E. Zellars - Namesake of USS Zellars DD 777


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Gravesite of Lt. (jg) Thomas E. Zellars - Namesake of USS Zellars DD 777
  • Location: Grantville City Cemetery

Gravesite of Lt. (jg) Thomas E. Zellars- Namesake of USS Zellars DD 777

Grantville native Thomas E. Zellars (1898-1924) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1920 and reported for duty aboard the USS Mississippi. As turret commander he rose to the rank of lieutenant. In 1924, an explosion and fire engulfed his turret. Zellars and 47 others were killed but not before he opened a flood valve on a burning powder train - an act that saved the ship and its crew. In 1944, Naval destroyer USS Zellars DD 777 was launched in Zellars’ honor. It went on to serve in both WW II and the Korean War receiving five battle stars. The ship was decommissioned in 1971.

1999.6
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the City of Grantville

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