THOMSON B. - Foster Thomson, III, 64, retired US Coast Guard Captain, passed away Monday, June 5, 2006. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1959 and from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1963. He had a 27 year career with several commands including an 82 ft. patrol boat in Viet Nam where he earned the Silver Star.
After military retirement, he worked in the Fairfax County Public School system in Northern Virginia for 15 years before moving to Fleming Island in July 2005. Here he enjoyed boating, reading and being an active supporting husband, father and grandfather.
He was born in Spartanburg, SC November 15, 1941. His parents were Barham Thomson, Jr. and Delphene Thomson, formerly of Jacksonville. He is survived by wife of 36 years, Linda Foreman Thomson; his two sons, Foster IV of Cumming, GA., and John Lee of Clarkesville, GA; three grandchildren; two sisters, Susan Thomson Shi of Greenville, SC and Linda Lee Williams of Landrum SC; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service honoring CAPT Thomson will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 8, at the Mayport Naval Station Chapel. (Early arrival is recommended due to security.) Interment will be with full military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Capt Thomson's Silver Star citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Barham F. Thomson, III, Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the USCGC POINT SLOCUM (WPB-82313), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in Market Time Operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts near the mouth of the Co Chien River on 20 June 1966.
POINT SLOCUM went to the assistance of Coast Guard Cutter POINT LEAGUE, which was engaged in a fierce fire fight with a vessel attempting to infiltrate 100 tons of arms and ammunition to the Viet Cong. Upon arrival on the scene, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Thomson found that the infiltrator had been forced aground by POINT LEAGUE and that Viet Cong forces concealed on the shore were attempting to drive off the cutter so that the cargo could be retaken. When friendly air support arrived, he made passes close to the shoreline in order to draw enemy fire and force the Viet Cong to disclose their positions to the aircraft.
During these valiant maneuvers, POINT SLOCUM received several hits from small arms fire and two near misses from recoilless rifles. When the grounded trawler was set afire, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Thomson put POINT SLOCUM along side and proceeded to extinguish the fire. His bravery and skill in risking his vessel, first to draw the enemy fire, and then to save the captured ship and its cargo greatly contributed to the United States efforts against insurgent forces in the Republic of Vietnam and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.