LT David Mathew Thompson
Cenotaph

LT David Mathew Thompson

Birth
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Aug 1972 (aged 26)
Vietnam
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 92172734 · View Source
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In Loving Memory of ... Lt. David Mathew Thompson.
*** On August 12, 1972, he was the pilot of a Vought Crusader Fighter (F-8J) on a flight over the Gulf of Tonkin. At a point 75 miles from Hai Nan Island, his aircraft crashed. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.


You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!


DAVID MATHEW THOMPSON - Navy - LT - O3
Age: 26
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth May 9, 1946
From: PITTSBURGH, PA
Religion: PROTESTANT
Marital Status: Married

***** Fighter Squadron 24 Posted on 6/25/13 - by Chad Crawford
This is a cropped picture of Lt. Thompson from a VF-24 squadron photo taken in the summer of 1972.

***** I WAS ON BOARD USS HANCOCK THAT DAY WHEN LT. THOMPSON'S PLANE CRASHED. REMEMBER THE CAPTAIN'S ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE SILENCE THAT FELL AMONG THE CREW.
A. CONTORNO



LT - O3 - Navy - Regular
His tour began on Aug 13, 1972
Casualty was on Aug 13, 1972
In , NORTH VIETNAM
MILITARY DATA
Service: United States Navy
Grade at loss: O3
Rank: Lieutenant
ID No: 196360264
MOS: 1310: Unrestricted Line Officer (Pilot)
Unit: VF-24, CVW-21, USS HANCOCK, TF 77, 7TH FLEET

CASUALTY DATA
Incident Date: 08/13/1972
Casualty Date: 08/13/1972
Age at Loss: 26
Location: Gulf of Tonkin, North Vietnam
Remains: Body not recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Fixed Wing - Pilot
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash at sea
HOSTILE, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH AT SEA

Body was not recovered
Panel 01W - Line 66


Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)



Lt Thompson was the pilot of an F-8J Crusader that disappeared over the Gulf of Tonkin on the night of August 12, 1972.

On this night he was the wing-man to his squadron's Commanding Officer and at some point during the flight Lt Thompson lost his radio. F-8's flew very little at night because their accident rate was so high due to the difficulty of landing on the smaller Essex-class aircraft carriers that deployed them.

So in accordance with procedures, the CO led Lt Thompson down on his wing to a rendezvous point about 20 miles behind their carrier, the USS Hancock, to prepare for a landing.

At about 12 miles and 2000 ft, they were separated by the Hancock's controller for individual final approaches. Shortly after they separated on this very dark and overcast night, Lt Thompson configured his plane for landing with wheels down and his F-8's variable-incidence wing up.

The CO went ahead and landed, but at about 8 miles behind the carrier, Lt Thompson's F-8 disappeared from the ship's radar scope.

No further contact was established and a search and rescue was conducted.

After the search, all they found was a piece of his plane's nose cone which indicated Lt Thompson hit the water slightly nose down with the wings level.

It is unlikely on this flight that he encountered any enemy fire and since his radio was out, it is unknown if there was any other electronic failures in the aircraft.

It was eventually surmised that Lt Thompson became somehow distracted or disoriented in the pitch black darkness and gradually flew into the water at about 140 knots.

To this day, his plane and remains have never been found and he is officially listed as MIA - KIA - Body Not Recovered.


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US Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade David Mathew Thompson from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Lt. JG David Thompson was a Vought F8J Crusader pilot and was assigned to Fighter Squadron-24 on-board the USS Hancock. On 12 August 1972, Lt. JG Thompson was conducting a flight over the Gulf of Tonkin. At a point about 75 miles from Hai Nan Island, Thompson's aircraft crashed. Little hope was held out for his survival and he was declared Killed/Body Not Recovered. Thompson was perhaps returning from a combat mission with a crippled aircraft as his is listed as a hostile casualty.
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Find A Grave contributor wings214 has sponsored your memorial for David Thompson.

Thank you Wings214 for your sponsorship.

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Gravesite Details Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.
  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 19 Jun 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 92172734
  • wings214
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for LT David Mathew Thompson (9 May 1946–13 Aug 1972), Find a Grave Memorial no. 92172734, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .