Karl Ludwig Thompson
Lance Corporal
1ST BRIDGE CO, 7TH ENG BN, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
Security, Colorado
February 22, 1945 to January 17, 1966
KARL L THOMPSON is on the Wall at Panel 4E, Line 78

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Karl L Thompson
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03 Jun 2007

Although you've been gone for over 40 years, I still miss you like it was just yesterday. You will always be alive in my heart. I love you, Karl.

From his sister,
Connie Thompson
4evreyoung16@gmail.com

 

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 7th Engineer's Jan 1966 Command Chronology contains the following entry:

"172225 [10:25 pm, 17 Jan] M-60 crane out of action by electrically detonated mine, 2 KIA. AT943677"

The M-60 is an M-35 truck chassis with a bed mounted crane, normally operated by a two-man crew. The incident occurred on Route 540 about 11 kilometers southwest of Danang Airbase, just north of Phuoc Nanh village. The two men killed by the mine were LCpl Karl L. Thompson and LCpl Lawrence T. Hammond of Baltimore, Maryland.



American Gold Star Mothers know how it feels to have lost a son or daughter in the service of the United States. They are an organization of women wounded by war.

They bear no scars the eye can see, but nonetheless, they are casualties. They each carry painful shards of a shattered life embedded in their hearts from which they never recover. They bleed tears of grief.

"You never stop crying," Gold Star Mother Mary Newman of Chattanooga said.

Herta Lemons is from Germany. Her son, Karl Thompson, was killed in 1966 near Da Nang, Vietnam. Photo of Karl, time and location unknown.

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Karl wasn't even an American citizen when he joined his mother said. He was supposed to get his citizenship papers, but they got it mixed up and sent him to Vietnam. Another guy got his orders to go to engineering school. He wasn't supposed to even be over there. Read here the full news article from the Cleveland Daily Banner of February 6, 2014 which republished a 2011 story.

Karl Thompson was born on Feb. 22, 1945 and was adopted by Raymond Thompson when his mother married in 1955. Then 16 years old, Karl Thompson came to the United States to stay in 1961. Mrs. Lemons (then Mrs. Thompson) first came to the United States in 1956, earned her citizenship in 1958 and returned to Germany while her son finished ninth grade.

After Karl graduated from Widefield High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he told his mother he was going to enlist in the Marines, Mrs. Lemons remembered. She tried to talk him out of it and join the Army instead. He did not listen and joined the Marines.

While he was stationed with the Marines at Danang, his adoptive father was stationed with the Army in Saigon. "I tried to get them together but never could," Mrs Lemons said. LCPL Thompson was 20 when was killed in the Quang Nam Province near Danang. The crane on which he was working detonated a land mine.

His adoptive father, William Roland "Bill" Lemons died on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at the age of 78 after a long illness. He had served with the United States Army Air Corp, the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Reserves, and the U.S. Army. He served in Germany with the "Big Red One," for three and a half years and was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Korea. He is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga Tennessee.

Mrs. Lemons said her son had been a wrestler and wrestling manager in high school, had worked evenings for a while at the Colorado Springs Gazette and was "a very gentle guy".

Mrs Lemons lost a son to war before he was even a citizen of the United States, and she doesn't want that sacrifice viewed as any less patriotic than those of his native-born brethren. Lance Cpl. Karl Ludwig Thompson didn't join the service for benefits or for citizenship, Mrs. Lemons says. He did not become an American citizen until his mother received a certificate on his behalf in 2004, 38 years after his death in Vietnam. "He was an American, and God knows he is."

Read the full article here from the Novermber 11, 2008 Chattanooga Times Free Press. Also see how he earned his citizenship and read article here from the October 03, 2004 Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lance Corporal Karl Ludwig Thompson is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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- - - - The Virtual Wall, February 6, 2014


 
03 Jun 2007

Although you've been gone for over 40 years, I still miss you like it was just yesterday. You will always be alive in my heart. I love you, Karl.

From his sister,
Connie Thompson
orange_rose70@yahoo.com


 

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 7th Engineer's Jan 1966 Command Chronology contains the following entry:
"172225 [10:25 pm, 17 Jan] M-60 crane out of action by electrically detonated mine, 2 KIA. AT943677"
The M-60 is an M-35 truck chassis with a bed mounted crane, normally operated by a two-man crew. The incident occurred on Route 540 about 11 kilometers southwest of Danang Airbase, just north of Phuoc Nanh village. The two men killed by the mine were LCpl Karl L. Thompson and LCpl Lawrence T. Hammond of Baltimore, Maryland.

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