The Silver Star
Alfred F. Thompson, Jr. was born in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, 28 November 1919. He graduated from Arkansas State College in 1942 with a B.S. degree in business administration and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He quickly rose in rank and in January 1949 was commander of Battery “B”, 159th Artillery Battalion (one of the last all black units in the Army) stationed near Nara, Japan. Days after North Korea invaded South Korea, Captain Thompson and his battery were assigned to support a South Korean regiment in early July 1950. By August, he commanded Battery “C,” and his heroic actions there earned him the Silver Star. Other awards include 3 Bronze Stars, the Legion of Merit (First Oak Leaf Cluster), and Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant.
On 6 August 1950, Captain Alfred F. Thompson, Jr., was trapped near Haman, South Korea. Around him lay the bodies of all of his fellow officers. Using brilliant tactics and raw courage under fire, he took command of Battery “C” of the 59th Field Artillery Battalion of the 25th Infantry Division, survived where his comrades had fallen, and led his men to safety. Captain Thompson’s gallant actions in extricating his troops from the enemy’s trap is in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, reflecting great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. Colonel Alfred F. Thompson, Jr. died 16 December 1994.