Thursday, March 05, 2009

Col. William J. Thompson - The Definition of a Hero

I wear my POW Bracelet to remember a fallen hero that stood up for something he believed in. When I decided to get a bracelet to honor someone that had served their country, I started wondering how I would choose.....there were so many people that had died, or were missing to choose from. I thought about it for a while and decided that the best way to decide was to look for someone that was local to my community, and the next criteria was that is was going to be someone that was MIA or KIA in the month of August in the year I was born. So, someone from the Houston, TX area that was MIA or KIA in August of 1968. I did not have to look far, he jumped right off the page at me. Col. William J. Thompson, USAF. I did some research on him, and found out that he went down in his F-4 Phantom in North Vietnam on a mission on August 1, 1968. They believe that he was shot down, but no wreckage or the Colonel were found. There is much more information that I found, but you get the idea. I was just being born into this world in August of 1968, and this Air Force Pilot was out fighting in a very un-popular war, but doing his job none the less.. What better way to honor him, than by wearing a bracelet bearing his name on a daily basis and sharing his story. I doubt Col. Thompson knew that he was inspiring people, but let me be the first to tell you that he did....without even knowing it!
Thanks you Colonel William J. Thompson for your courage and bravery under fire, thank you for your service and devotion to this country. may you rest in peace. Also, thank you to all who served in the Vietnam war, and the Gulf and Iraq wars, NONE of you are forgotten!


Mark, K5EXX

US Army 87'-90'

Baytown/Chambers County CERT Coordinator
Emergency Communications, Baytown EOC


Anonymous said...

I worn Lt col william Thompson on my braclett all through the 70's in high school. Thanks for giving me more info.

Anonymous said...

I just visited the Viet Nam wall in Westlake Village CA and saw the name of Lt. Col. William Thompson. I wore his bracelet from 1969 to 1974. Does anyone know if remains were ever found.
Mary Stern Weiss, Oak Park CA

Rob said...

Col. William Thompson and Capt. Joseph Ross comprised the crew of the lead aircraft in a flight of two F4-D's which departed Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam on August 1, 1968, on a night armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Enroute, the flight was diverted to look for truck traffic in the vicinity of their original target. Locating the traffic, Thompson dropped several sets of flares and illuminated a group of trucks. He told his wingman to circle the area while he made a bombing pass on the trucks. As the wingman circled, he noted a large explosion within several hundred feet of the target area, and immediately attempted to contact Thompson, but with no success. The explosion occurred about 3:10 a.m. The wingman saw no parachutes and heard no beepers.

About daybreak, search planes heard an emergency electronic signal which seemed to come from the area where Thompson and Ross were lost. Searchers were unable to get any response to calls over the emergency frequency, and terminated the search around noon. Flare chutes were found near the truck target, but no wreckage of the F4 was found.

The area in which Col. Thompson and Capt. Ross went down is very near the Ban Karai Pass on the Laos/Vietnam border. It is mountainous with peaks ranging from 3500-4000 feet and deep valleys dense with multiple canopy jungle. One searcher described the mountains "of sharp pointed grey rock karsts in great frequency closely jammed up like the stalactites of a sound suppression cham- ber".

From POW Network

BOSI said...

When I was a child living in Vandenburg A.F.B. 1969 my mother showed me a bracelet that she bought, She prayed for the name on the bracelet everyday and asked me to do the same. She knew nothing about him only that he was missing. The missing man was Lt. Col. William Thompson. She told me to pray that God would protect him where ever he was and bring him home safely. Today Aug 14 2010 my mother brought out the bracelet that she had held onto for 42 years. I told my mom if she ever herd what became of Lt. Col. William Thompson, she said she didnt know. so I took her to my laptop and googled the name and your blog came up. Thank you.
Joseph & Argene Gregory

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your story. I was online and overheard Katie Couric talking about a 50 year old woman who still wears her POW bracelet from the 70's. It made me think of my POW bracelet with the name Lt Col William Thompson. Why did I quit wearing my bracelet? I felt so sad to think that I just forgot him as I grew out of high school. I know I still have the bracelet and am encouraged to locate it and begin wearing it again. I thank him so much for if it wasn't for the courage and bravery he had endured, we would not have the freedom we are so thankful for today.

Anonymous said...

Mary W. : This is Mark B., I am the one that wrote why I wear Col. Thompson's bracelet. His remains were not found. I think it's great that so many have shown an interest! I am friends with Col. Thompson's Daughter and Son on Facebook, and we keep in contact regularly!

Anonymous said...

Thank you,Mark for sharing your story! I faithfully wore my nichol LT.Col. William Thompson's bracelet in the early 1970's (in AZ) even though it made a terrible rash on my arm, which still today, I have 2 scars. I was
able to get another bracelet made of copper that I still have today. Just came back from touring Wash DC. Brought tears to see the names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Reminded me of Airman Thompson and I got my bracelet out of my hope chest to do some long delayed research. Never knew much about him until reading your post today. Sorry to hear he has not been found. God knows. - Tonie, Puyallup WA

Unknown said...

I also wore my MIA KIA. Bracelet of My Col William Thompson. My mother bought it for me in 1969, I wore it constantly. She got his name since we are Thompson family also, and somewhere we are all brothers and s sisters. He and his family has always been in our thoughts and prayers. I am glad to find out so nightingale mm action. May he be with God in heaven and know how much he made such a difference in so many lives. Today we are free be cause of him.