Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Douglas ' History

Gone But Not Forgotten

ThompsonSm.jpg Captain Douglas L. Thompson, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, died at his home in Reading, PA on December 27, 1991. Death was due to a heart attack and was immediate.

Douglas was born in Springfield, MO. on Aug. 26, 1942. As an Army brat, he attended various schools in this country and in Germany before returning to Springfield, where he graduated from Parkview High School in 1959. He was too young at that time for admission to the Air Force Academy, and he spent the intervening year at Texas A & M University.

He graduated from the Academy with a Bachelor of Science and a major in international relations. Assignments included an opportunity to serve as aide o then-Brigadier General Richard L. Stoner, who he accompanied on an inspection tour of the free world's air installations.

Because of a problem with depth perception which had precluded pilot training, Douglas made the difficult decision to resign his commission, which he did in 1968, having attained the rank of Captain. Before resigning, however, he volunteered for duty in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. Following his return from Vietnam, he entered the Stanford University School of Business, Palo Alto, CA, where he received his master's degree in business administration, Class of 1970. He held life memberships in both the USAFA Association of Graduates and the Stanford Business School Alumni Association.

During his 12 years in Reading he was active in civic affairs and various civic projects, including Civil War battlefield preservation efforts. He took a quiet pride in knowing that his ancestors had fought in each American war from the Revolution onward, but his particular interest was the Civil War, which he had extensively researched. During the past several years he had spent much of his spare time in painstakingly developing a comprehensive and detailed day-by-day history of the movements and personnel of the 24th Missouri Infantry, in which his great-great-grandfather had served.

His years of extensive travel as vice president/director of Corporate Development for General Battery Corporation in Reading led to his going into business for himself as a management consultant. His accomplishments were many and to each of them he brought the integrity, honesty, loyalty and commitment that marked everything he did. He had returned from a business trip to Monterrey, Mexico only days before his death. Preceded in death many years before by his father, Major Kenneth L. Thompson, Douglas is survived by his mother and stepfather, Mrs. Opal Thompson Skinner and William A. Skinner, Springfield; his brother and sister-in-law, Craig and Cris Thompson, Spartanburg, SC.; three nephews, C.L., Stuart and Philip; three nieces, Amy, Jennifer, and Schuyler; an aunt, Miss Ruth Fern Black, Reno, Nev.; an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Don Black, Sacramento, CA; and numerous other relatives and friends who meant a great deal to him. He will be greatly missed.

(Gone But Not Forgotten, Checkpoints, Spring 1992)
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