THOMPSON, Frederick William, A/S/L (60758, Royal Air Force No.10 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 April 1942. Born 9 July 1914. Commissioned from Sergeant, 25 December 1940. Flight Lieutenant, 19 November 1941. Group Captain, 1 July 1954. Awarded CBE, 1 January 1957. Air Commodore 1 January 1960. Retired 11 August 1962. Died 19 February 1994. Following text from RAF Quarterly, September 1942.

This officer, as captain of aircraft, joined the squadron in April 1941, and four months later assumed command of a flight. In the course of his many operational missions, Squadron Leader Thompson has displayed outstanding persistence to achieve success. In his efforts to bomb and then photograph his targets, he is dissatisfied with anything but the best results. Possessing great dash and powers of endurance, enemy opposition leaves him unmoved and his tenacity of purpose remains unshaken in any circumstances. His technical knowledge has enabled him to become an expert advisor on flying problems and tactical decisions.

THOMPSON, Frederick William, A/W/C, DFC (60758, RAFVR) - No.1658 Conversion Unit - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 June 1943. Public Record Office Air 2/9609 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation, originally drafted for a Air Force Cross when he had flown 300 instructional hours.

This officer is a chief flying instructor and, since December 1941, has commanded a conversion unit which he formed at a time when the demand for Halifax aircraft was vert great. He is a fine instructor who never spares himself and he has shown outstanding leadership and enthusiasm which have resulted in a consistently high type of operational crews.

THOMPSON, Frederick William, A/W/C, DFC (60758, Royal Air Force) - No.1658 Conversion Unit - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1944. Public Record Office Air 2/8959 has citation drafted when he had flown 90 instructional hours.

This officer has commanded the unit since its formation and has displayed untiring energy and enthusiasm in his duties. He has maintained a high standard of efficiency throughout the unit and has done much for the Halifax training of No.4 Group.

THOMPSON, Frederick William, W/C, DFC, AFC (60758, Royal Air Force) - No.44 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 September 1944.

Since assuming command of his squadron this officer has completed numerous sorties against a variety of targets. On one occasion, en route to Stuttgart, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, disabling one engine which caught fire. The fire was eventually extinguished, although not before considerable height had been lost. Nevertheless, displaying the determination and efficiency which has characterised his operational career, Wing Commander Thompson continued his mission and completed a successful attack. On the return journey a second engine gave trouble, necessitating a landing in adverse weather shortly after crossing the English coast. By his personal example of determination, courage and enthusiasm, this officer ha raised the efficiency and morale of his squadron to a very high level.

Public Record Office Air 2/9159 has recommendation drafted by the Officer Commanding, Station Dunholme Lodge, about 30 July 1944 when he had flown 50 sorties (310 hours 28 minutes). His first tour had been 30 sorties (196 hours 20 minutes) and the second tour was 20 sorties (114 hours eight minutes). The list of second-tour sorties and the submission follows:

19 February 1944 - Leipzig (7.14)
1 March 1944 - Stuttgart (8.56)
10 March 1944 - Ossun (7.56)
30 March 1944 - Nuremberg (8.17)
5 April 1944 - Toulouse (7.15)
10 April 1944 - Tours (6.03)
28 April 1944 - Oslo (7.51)
7 May 1944 - Salbris (5.51)
19 May 1944 - Amiens (4.03)
22 May 1944 - Brunswick (6.28)
31 May 1944 - Maisy (3.20)
5 June 1944 - Pernelle (5.31)
6 June 1944 - Caen (4.33)
9 June 1944 - Etampes (4.34)
14 June 1944 - Auynay-sur-Odon (4.33)
16 June 1944 - Beauboie (3.51)
7 July 1944 - St.Leu d’Esserant (4.51)
15 July 1944 - Gardening (5.53)
17 July 1944 - Caen (3.25)
20 July 1944 - Courtrai (3.39)

Wing Commander Thompson has recently completed his second operational tour in Bomber Command with a total of 50 successful sorties. His first tour - from March 1941 to March 1942 - was spent in No.4 Group where he operated in both Whitley and Halifax aircraft. He made four daylight sorties against the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest and La Pallice during this tour and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his gallantry and leadership in these attacks.

On the conclusion of this tour he became Chief Instructor at a Halifax Conversion Flight and retained the post when it expanded into a Conversion Unit. In all he spent two years in these appointments and was awarded the Air Force Cross for devoted and efficient service on the ground as well as in the air.

In February 1944 he was appointed to the command of No.44 (Rhodesia) Squadron and in the succeeding six months completed 20 consecutive successful sorties. In this total were included attacks on Leipzig, Stuttgart and Nuremberg as well as several targets in the occupied territories where the fiercest fighter opposition was encountered, notably Salbris.

En route for the attack on Stuttgart his aircraft was hot by a first burst of accurate flak; this disabled one engine which caught fire but was eventually extinguished, although not before considerable height had been lost. With one engine useless and by now well below the height of the bomber stream, Wing Commander Thompson would have been justified had he jettisoned part of his bomb load in order to climb. However, the incident served well to demonstrate the courage and efficiency which has characterized his operational career, since he went on to the target with his full bomb load and then carried out an accurate attack from the lower height. A second engine gave trouble on the homeward route necessitating a landing in poor weather shortly after crossing the English coast. This was effected without further damage to his aircraft.

During the period of his command of No.44 Squadron, Wing Commander Thompson has by a personal example of cool courage, great drive and enthusiasm raised the operational efficiency and morale of his squadron to a level at which it had not stood for a considerable time. These facts coupled with his loyalty and industrious devotion to duty have marked him out as a first class operational commander.

I strongly recommend Wing Commander Thompson for an immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order.

On 1 August 1944 the Air Commodore in command of No.52 Base wrote his comments:

I am in agreement with the remarks of the Station Commander.

Wing Commander Thompson worked exceedingly hard with his squadron and was directly concerned in the increase of its efficiency in training (particularly bombing) and in the serviceability of aircraft.

He is possessed o cool courage to an outstanding degree and his determination to carry out his task in the air with the maximum efficiency and despite all enemy opposition set a fine example to all crews. Whilst I consider he deserves the award of the DSO as an outstanding leader I appreciate that there is no exceptionally gallant event which can be quoted to support this selection in lieu of a Bat to the Distinguished Flying Cross. As similar cases must arise I therefore leave the decision as to his award to higher authority.

The Air Officer Commanding, No.5 Group, endorsed the recommendation on 7 August 1944, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris approved it on 18 August 1944.