In Loving Memory of Colonel David Llewellyn Thomson


David Llewellyn Thomson, passed away on June 17, 2020, at the age of ninety-two years old in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was born on September 26, 1927 in San Francisco, California to David and Gladys Hoagland Thomson.  He grew up in San Francisco where he graduated from Bates High School in 1944.

Colonel Thomson joined the US Maritime Service.  After Basic Training at Catalina Island, he was sent to Radio Operator school at Hoffman Island, New York.  Upon graduation Col Thomson sailed on a T-2 tanker to Guam with a cargo of Navy special fuel oil.  Shortly after returning to the US he signed on a Liberty ship bound for Korea.  He spent VJ day in Buckner Bay along with 1000 US Naval and Merchant Marine vessels.  Col Thomson then signed on to a T-2 tanker and shuttled back and forth between the Persian Gulf and the US until late 1946. Col Thomson met and married Marilyn E. Thomson in San Francisco, California in 1949.

Col Thomson entered USAF pilot training at Waco Air Force Base (AFB), Texas.  He was unable to complete pilot school, but was selected for navigator training at Ellington AFB, Texas.  Col Thomson graduated in December 1950 as a Second Lieutenant.

Early assignments included McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington navigating C-54 aircraft back and forth between Japan and the US.  This assignment was cut short by a temporary duty assignment (TDY) to Tachikawa Air Base (AB) in Japan navigating between Formosa and Japan.  This assignment was terminated by another TDY to Ashiya AB in Japan until December 1951 when Col Thomson was assigned to the 8 th Bomb Squadron, 3 rd Bomb Group (Light Night Intruder) Kunsan, Korea. The mission was to disrupt vehicle movement at night.  After completing the required number of sorties, Col Thomson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals and a “spot” promotion to First Lieutenant. His first child, David, was born in 1951 at the Presidio in San Francisco.

Upon return to the US, Col Thomson was assigned to a Radar Calibration Squadron at Sioux City, Iowa.  His next posting was to Navigator Upgrade training at Mather AFB, California.  His second son, Phil, was born in 1955 in Sacramento. After promotion to Captain, Col Thomson was next assigned to the 500 th Bomb Squadron and the 500 th Air Refueling Squadron at Langley AFB, Virginia.

Col Thomson was accepted into the University of Chicago School of Business majoring in Personnel Management.  He graduated with his MBA in 1961.

After graduation, Col Thomson was assigned to Cigli AB, Izmir, Turkey and then to an ROTC assignment at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio as Associate Professor of Aerospace Science.  While there he was promoted to Major and then to Lieutenant Colonel. During his time as an ROTC instructor, he was teaching aerospace science and one day became upset with the students.  On the wall was a very large world map wherein he took out his frustration by punching a hole through the Pacific Ocean on the map into the wall.  Thus, the students referred to the hole as Thomson’s Trench!  Once the wall and map were repaired, the students referred to it as Thomson’s Island.

In 1965 Col Thomson was assigned to Headquarters USAF at the Pentagon, where initially he managed the size of AF officer corps.  He was then “tapped” to manage and oversee the drug abuse control program which led to the opportunity to devise and implement the AF Social Actions program throughout the entire Air Force.  He was promoted to Colonel in 1971.

Col Thomson was next assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel for US air forces in Europe, the UK, Greece, and Turkey in 1972.

The Air Training Command (ATC) Commander requested that USAFE release Col Thomson to be the ATC personnel chief at ATC headquarters at Randolph AFB, Texas where he served until retirement in 1981.

He had a great affinity to classical music and enjoyed the San Antonio Symphony for 35 years as well as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.  He also drew great pleasure from his collection of guns.  He was a member of the oldest running gun club in the United States, the San Antonio Gun Club.

Col Thomson is preceded in death by his parents David and Gladys Hoagland Thomson; and his wife, Marilyn E. Thomson (2005).

Col David Thomson is survived by his companion; his sons, David (Diane) of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Phil (Andrea) of Benson, Minnesota. Grandchildren:  Ashley Lassiter (Chris) of Pavilion, Nebraska; Philip, Jr. (Tara) of Fargo, North Dakota; Kristopher of Fargo, North Dakota; and, Claire Tarmann (Kelby) of West Fargo, North Dakota. And, great grandchildren:  Bryce, Connor and Nora Lassiter of Pavilion, Nebraska and Coraline and Fergus Tarmann of West Fargo, North Dakota.

The family would like to thank all the caregivers and teams at Morning Star Mountain Shadows; Dr. Monticelli, Laurie Dagostino and their crew at the Pavilion Cancer Center; and Christa, Bonnie and Riley along with others at Abode Hospice.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings, a date will be set for the memorial service at a later time.