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Flt Lt W L 'Tommy' Thompson 1927-2017

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Flt Lt W L 'Tommy' Thompson 1927-2017

Old 28th May 2017, 18:03
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Flt Lt W L 'Tommy' Thompson 1927-2017

With immense sadness, I announce the death of my Father, William 'Tommy' Thompson. Blessed with a common name, I wouldn't want him confused with any other 'Tommy Thompson' so for those of you who think you may have known him from the RAF, here's a potted version of his flying life:

Non-Flying Duties (Engine Fitter):

1944-47 48th Entry, No 1 SoTT, Royal Air Force Halton
1947-48 No 4 SoTT, RAF St Athan
1948 RAF Topcliffe (Modification Bay - Wellington, Anson)

Flying Duties (Pilot):

1949 6 FTS, RAF Ternhill (Prentice, Harvard)
1950 203 AFS, RAF Driffield, 226 OCU RAF Stradishall (Meteor T7, Vampire F1)
1950-53 67 Sqn, RAF Gutersloh, Wildenrath (Vampire FB5)
1953-55 19 Sqn, RAF Church Fenton (Meteor F8)
1955 CFS 'B', RAF South Cerney (Provost)
1955 CFS 'A', RAF Little Rissington (Vampire T11)
1955-57 4 FTS, RAF Middleton St George, RAF Worksop (Vampire T11 plus 19 Sqn for Hunter F6)
1957-60 HQ FTC (Meteor, Vampire, Balliol, Provost, Anson)
1960-63 10 Sqn, RAF Cottesmore (Victor B1)
1963-66 57 Sqn, RAF Honington (Victor B1A)
1966-67 214 Sqn, RAF Marham (Victor B(K)1a)
1967-70 Tanker Trg Flt, RAF Marham (Victor)
1970-74 232 OCU (Simulator) (Victor)
1975 85 Sqn, RAF West Raynham (Canberra B2, T4, T19)
1976-78 100 Sqn, RAF Marham (Canberra B2, T4, E15, T19)
1978-82 Royal Aircraft Establishment Llanbedr (Canberra (mod), Meteor T7, NF11.5, D16, Devon/Dove)
1983 RAF Leeming
1983-87 4 FTS, RAF Valley (Simulator - Hawk T1)

A little more about him here:

Tiger Moth Competition - Answer Revealed Finest Hour Warbirds
V-Force: Victors in Malaya Finest Hour Warbirds

A full life well led; he was still out sharping me in the air until late last year :-)

Memorial service tbd in North Yorkshire

Last edited by Snakecharmer; 28th May 2017 at 21:22.
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Old 29th May 2017, 15:57
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I don't think we ever met, though our paths must have nearly crossed many times. Whatever, a great career and he and his family can be immensely proud of what he archived. Blue skies. RIP
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Old 29th May 2017, 17:04
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I served with your father on No 214 Squadron, as co-pilot, and remember him fondly. I had arrived on 214 from 57 on 1 Sep 66 and I suspect your father followed a similar route.

I flew with him twice, both check rides, on 2 Feb 67 and 21 Aug 67. I think he was the Squadron QFI?

I had a very happy time on 214 under, firstly, Colin Preece and then Dave Mullarkey (Captain Moonlight) before leaving at the end of 1968 for CFS.

I returned to Marham at the end of 1975 as OC 232 (Victor K2) but I was also responsible for the K1 simulator. I'm not sure if your father was still there?

Some of us who lived in the West Wing at the time are having a reunion (50 years) lunch on Wednesday 14 June. If anyone readng this qualifies and would like to come along, please let me know?

Once again, I am sorry about the loss of your father.
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Old 29th May 2017, 18:00
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Originally Posted by Top West 50 View Post
I served with your father on No 214 Squadron, as co-pilot, and remember him fondly. I had arrived on 214 from 57 on 1 Sep 66 and I suspect your father followed a similar route.

I flew with him twice, both check rides, on 2 Feb 67 and 21 Aug 67. I think he was the Squadron QFI?

I had a very happy time on 214 under, firstly, Colin Preece and then Dave Mullarkey (Captain Moonlight) before leaving at the end of 1968 for CFS.

I returned to Marham at the end of 1975 as OC 232 (Victor K2) but I was also responsible for the K1 simulator. I'm not sure if your father was still there?

Some of us who lived in the West Wing at the time are having a reunion (50 years) lunch on Wednesday 14 June. If anyone readng this qualifies and would like to come along, please let me know?

Once again, I am sorry about the loss of your father.
Thanks for your kind words... yes, I understand 3 crews with QFI Captains moved from 57 to form the nucleus of 214... he was one such QFI; I'll check his logbooks for your entries once I return home later this week. By 1975, he'd moved to the Canberra... I think he was getting a bit stale on the Victor; he much preferred bombing to tanking!
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Old 31st May 2017, 03:40
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I remember Tommy well. He was the Captain on my first flight on joining 214 from the TTF, 17 th. July 1967. He was the instructor on two of my sorties on the Intermediate Co-pilots Course , January 1969. He also checked me out on the Meteor T7 at Llanbedr in January 1981 prior ti me flying the NF 11 1/2. An excellent instructor and a very pleasant man in and out of the cockpit. RIP Tommy.
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Old 31st May 2017, 12:39
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Top West 50 you have the Sqn Cdrs the wrong way round. I was crewed with Dave Mullarkey from May 66 until July 67, when our established rear crew acquired a new drivers combo. Tommy was my Captain from Aug 67 until he moved to TTF in Nov 67. I rejoined him on TTF/232 OCU in Nov 69, until I left the Victor 1s in May 71. He was always a pleasure to fly with, with none of the cross cockpit gradient of some of the other Captains!!!!

Colin Preece first signed my logbook in May 68.

Sorry I can not join you for the Top West reunion - I hope there will not be any more "Scandals" to report afterwards !!

My best wishes to all attendees.
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Old 31st May 2017, 18:25
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My apologies Tengah Type - of course it was Mullarkey followed by Preece.

I sat in the opposite seat to Eddie Smeeth for most of my time!

The Great West Wing Scandal, as you know, did not break until 1968 when an awful lot of interesting stuff blew up. There was also a lot of collateral damage! In my own case, however, my little secret was pretty well known so it did not make the headlines! Your best will be passed to all attendees and, doubtless, the conversation will turn to the GWWS!
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Old 31st May 2017, 21:30
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Bet you didn't all know that Mullarkey and Tommy served together on 67 Sqn Vampires in Germany... Mullarkey as a Fg Off, Tommy as a Sgt Pilot... I have pics from that era but can't hack the technology to upload... and they were both involved in 'Black Monday'... and ended the day on different ends of a parachute...
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 07:24
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Snakecharmer

I knew Dave Mullarkey was on Vampires in Germany, but was not aware that your father had been there at the same time. Neither he nor Dave Mullarkey said so within my hearing. I was aware of some of the detail of "Black Monday" but not all. How many aircraft were lost, and do you have the full story?
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 08:00
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I know the story from Tommy's perspective, which differs from that in a book published on the history of the Vampire; I also have the 67 Sqn ORB entry covering it. Story for another day, but Tommy could get a little upset talking about it. He described it as a "Cock Up".

Originally Posted by Tengah Type View Post
Snakecharmer

I knew Dave Mullarkey was on Vampires in Germany, but was not aware that your father had been there at the same time. Neither he nor Dave Mullarkey said so within my hearing. I was aware of some of the detail of "Black Monday" but not all. How many aircraft were lost, and do you have the full story?
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 09:50
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Apparently, 4 Vampires - fog came in whilst on the range and then GCA equipment went Tango Uniform....
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 10:25
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Apparently, 4 Vampires - fog came in whilst on the range and then GCA equipment went Tango Uniform....
As I said, the book is a little misleading. This probably isn't the place to hit the detail of just that one event, as there were so many more...

DD - check PMs

Last edited by Snakecharmer; 1st Jun 2017 at 21:24.
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 17:52
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Memorial Service

Memorial Service to be held at St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale, near Kirkbymoorside in North Yorkshire at 1310L on Friday 11 August. Former colleagues etc welcome to attend; if so, do PM me so there's space at the subsequent lunch / drinks...
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 07:18
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I do remember him at RAF Valley, lovely bloke. He had a similar career path to Dougie Mee another of that post war breed who flew and flew. Sad news, a life well lived.
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 13:21
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Originally Posted by Bigpants View Post
I do remember him at RAF Valley, lovely bloke. He had a similar career path to Dougie Mee another of that post war breed who flew and flew. Sad news, a life well lived.
Thanks - I'll use your phrase 'lovely bloke' during Friday's service :-)
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