Last Known Activity
Gilman Felch Thompson, Jr. was born in Greenville, South Carolina on November 21, 1924, the son of Gilman Felch and Lillie Cox Thompson, Sr. Presumably after graduating from high school, he enrolled at Clemson University as part of the Class of 1946. Records show he only completed one year.
It is not known when he joined the military or where he took navigator training. His first appearance in the military record is as a pilot of a C-46D and assigned to the 311th Troop Carrier Squadron, operating in the Pacific area.
On October 12, 1945, he was the pilot of a C-46D ferrying troops to Iwo Jima. Approximately 3 hours into the flight, an expected radio check with Naha, Okinawa was not made. Sixty-seven aircraft made 12 flghts looking for the supposed downed aircraft, but no wreckage or bodies were found. The crew of 6 and 34 passengers were all listed as Missing in Action, later declared dead.
Lt. Thompson is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial Cemetery. A rembrance stone also is in (presumably) a cemetery in Greenville, South Carolina.
The aircraft in this incident was C-46D #44-78391, assigned to the 311th Troop Carrier Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 14987 was issued, and identifies the crew as:
1 Lt Kenneth W. Coats p
1 Lt F.J. Dams c-p
2Lt Gilman F. Thompson nav
TSgt E.F. Hayes eng
SSgt O.S. Neal r/o
1 Lt Brickley extra pilot