Reynold J. "Tom" Thompson


Prior Life

Born in Albany, CA, and raised in Berkeley, CA. Graduated from Berkeley High School in June 1955, and attended Oakland City College until entering the USAF in September 1956.

Enlisted Experiences

Enlisted from September 1956 until December 1962. Served as Personnel Specialist at Tachikawa AB, Japan (Feb 57-Jul 59), and Travis AFB, CA.

OCS Memories

First week in 3rd Squadron was HELL! Had fun trying to challenge our 1st class with help from classmates, until OC Smith fired torpedoes. Left the dining hall numerous times without eating—couldn’t get into table! Like many others, bought new car coincident with graduation—my favorite day!

After OCS

Went to navigator training, but lasted 1 days—couldn’t pass standard color vision test.

Went to Data Processing School at Sheppard AFB, TX, and then on to Moody AFB, GA, as Base Data Processing Officer. Attended SOS and several data processing courses. Stayed there 4 years until May 1967. Selected as Wing Outstanding Junior Officer for 1966.

Assigned to USAF Data Processing Center in bowels of Pentagon. Lasted 1 day-upon arrival advised by branch chief that my slot had been cut. Eventually assigned to Office of Aerospace Research (OAR) in high rise office building in Arlington, VA. Great and interesting job. Spent 4 years there, and then attended Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, enroute to USEUCOM, in Stuttgart, Germany-another great assignment.

In June 1975 went to my first (and only) SAC assignment at KI Sawyer AFB, MI, as a career broadening wing comptroller-and my first exposure to “real snow.” Spent just 2 years there when I got tapped for Kunsan AB, Korea. Worked a deal from Kunsan back to beautiful, sunny Hawaii (Hq PACAF), where I thoroughly enjoyed the next 4 years. Last assignment there as newly selected 06 was as the PACAF ADP Single Manager.

In June 1982 went to Yokota AB, Japan, as comptroller. One year later I became vice wing commander-another great job. The following year my wing commander replaced the fired wing commander at Osan AB, Korea. Shortly thereafter, he convinced me that he couldn’t get along without me at Osan, so I went there and spent the next two years (84-86) as base commander. As this tour was coming to an end, I thought I had a “secret handshake” assignment back to Hawaii, but the Air Force decided that Florida was a better choice. I elected retirement, and returned to Hawaii in July 1986.

Interesting aside: Spent most of my last year at Osan working for wing commander Colonel Chuck Link (USAF OCS 63-D)-later, and now retired MG Link.

In May 1987, I returned to Korea as a contractor, and spent the next 12 years working as the USAF facility manager for the Korea Combat Operations Intelligence Center (KCOIC) at Osan AB. Attended 30-year OCS reunion at Nellis AFB/Las Vegas, in 1992.

Life Today

Las Vegas with my lovely bride and one stepson who is a senior at UNLV. Have a son and daughter by previous marriage that live in New York and Colorado, respectively. My Mom and two younger brothers reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I enjoyed all 30 years of my Air Force career and met an awful lot of good folks. OCS was truly one of the highlights!


THOMPSON, Reynold J. “Tom”, 74, of Plant City, Florida, entered into eternal rest on October 14, 2012. He was a Veteran of the United States Air Force having retired as a Colonel after 30 years of service, and a contractor for the defense industry. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and gardening with his wife, and he loved his family.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years Grace H. Thompson; children Lisa F. Crudo (Joseph) of Denver, Colorado, Anthony J. Thompson (Pamela) of Albany, New York, Jin Y. Kim of Los Angeles, California, and Jin B. Kim of Tampa; brothers Dean J. Thompson, D.C. (Anna) of Novato, California and Thomas James Thompson (Judy) of San Rafael, California; sister-in-law Ellis Thompson (Michael) of Ft. Washington, Maryland; grandchildren Trisha Fournier, Amanda Fournier, Deanna Thompson, and Aaron Thompson; and nephew Joseph Thompson.

Interment with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.