Bob Thompson was born on November 12, 1940, in Lynchburg, Virginia. He entered Officer Training School on February 12, 1964, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas, on May 12, 1964. Lt Thompson next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Moody AFB, Georgia, in June 1965, followed by RF-4C Phantom II Pilot Systems Operator Training from July to November 1965. His first assignment was as an RF-4C pilot with the 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from November 1965 to July 1966, and then as an RF-4C pilot with the 6461st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from July to November 1966. Lt Thompson next served as an RF-4C pilot with the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Udorn from November 1966 to March 1967, followed by Pilot Instructor Training from March to June 1967. He served as a T-38 Talon instructor pilot with the 3641st Pilot Training Squadron at Laredo AFB, Texas, from June 1967 to May 1971, and then as a member of the Future Undergraduate Pilot Training Systems Mission Analysis Team with the 3510th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB, Texas, from May to December 1971. Capt Thompson served on the staff of Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph AFB from December 1971 to January 1974, and then as an Air Operations Staff Officer with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from January 1974 to January 1975. He then served as an instructor pilot at Laughlin AFB, Texas, from 1975 to 1978 before serving as an instructor at the Nuclear Weapons School at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, from 1978 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1985. Bob Thompson died on July 20, 2001, and was buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.