William Thompson

Ranked #186 on the list Best Military Person of All Time

Based on 2 votes

About William Thompson

  • Participated in conflicts:

William Henry Thompson (16 August 1927 – 6 August 1950) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Korean War. Born to a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in New York City, Thompson entered the Army in 1945 and served tours in Alaska and Japan. At the outbreak of the Korean War, Thompson was a machine gunner of the U.S. 24th Infantry Regiment, a de facto segregated unit. During the Battle of Masan in August 1950, Thompson was part of a unit conducting an offensive along the Pusan Perimeter. When North Korean troops attacked his company and caused many men to panic and scatter, Thompson stood his ground, refusing orders to evacuate despite being wounded, and covering the retreat of his platoon until he was killed by a grenade. For his actions, Thompson was awarded the Medal of Honor, one of only two African Americans to be so honored in the war. William Thompson was born on 16 August 1927 in Brooklyn, New York to an unmarried mother. Little is known of Thompson's early life, but he grew up in an impoverished tenement house neighborhood. He dropped out of school at a young

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