Opened December 9, 1946, Thomas Memorial Hospital is a 260-bed, not for profit healthcare resource located in South Charleston, West Virginia. We offer supportive, compassionate care, advanced technology and services, and something truly special - the dedication of our employees, physicians and volunteers, who are the true heart and spirit of our hospital.
Since our opening, we are proud to have offered our region many firsts in the local medical community:
Thomas Memorial Hospital was named in memory of a South Charleston resident and West Virginia's first congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Corps Sergeant Herbert J. Thomas Jr., who died in World War II by covering a grenade with his own body that had bounced off a tree and thus saving his fellow soldiers.
The first hospital in West Virginia to offer a nursery for premature babies
- The first to allow - and welcome - fathers into the delivery room
- The first to utilize the linear accelerator for pinpoint accuracy during radiation therapy
- The first to have Positron Emission Tomography with a CT scan to effectively pinpoint cancer, heart and neurological disease
- The first to offer the worlds' leading open field MRI system
- The first to offer digital mammography with computer aided diagnosis
Thomas offers a wide range of innovative services, including the Thomas Cancer Center, our Sweet Dreams Maternity Services, Sleep Disorders Center, Pediatric Care, CareCenter 24, Thomas Imaging Center, Home Health, Physical Therapy and more.
Herbert J. Thomas Jr.
Herbert Joseph Thomas Jr. was born February 8, 1918 in Columbus Ohio. He and his family moved to South Charleston, West Virginia when he was seven years old. He grew up in South Charleston, attended South Charleston High School, and then attended Virginia Polytech University where he became well known for his abilities on the football field.
Two months before his graduation, Thomas left school to enlist in the Army Air Corps, but later transferred to the Marines because many of his friends were also Marines. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On November 7, 1943, he advanced his squad through the jungle terrain of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific. The squad had destroyed two machine gun crews when Sergeant Thomas discovered a third. He ordered an attack on the third gun right after he had thrown a grenade; however, the grenade hit some vines and bounced back towards Thomas and his men. Without time to throw the live grenade back towards the Japanese, Sergeant Thomas made the ultimate sacrifice by hurling himself onto the grenade - saving the lives of all his men.
Sergeant Thomas was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. He was the first West Virginian awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II. On March 26, 1945, a US destroyer was christened the U.S.S. Herbert J. Thomas in his honor.
His hometown also honored his memory by name a brand new hospital after him - Thomas Memorial Hospital, opened on December 9, 1946.
Initially buried in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Cemetery on Bougainville, Sergeant Thomas' remains were later reinterred in Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, South Charleston, West Virginia.