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The Madison Record

Thompson fought at Normandy in World War II

Private First Class Robert Thompson. CONTRIBUTED
Private First Class Robert Thompson. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Robert Thompson, who will be 95 years old this year, is an award-winning veteran of World War II.

Thompson was born on Dec. 19, 1921 and raised in Greenbrier. He grew up during the Great Depression and became a farmer to support his family.

In November 1942, he voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman at Fort McClellan. Thompson was assigned to Company K, 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division and initially trained at Camp Forrest, Tenn.

The 80th Division then deployed for training at Camp Phillips, near Salina, Kan. Subsequently, the division entered the Desert Training Center (known today as Fort Irwin, Calif.) before deploying overseas to the European Theater.

Thompson sailed aboard the SS Queen Mary on July 4, 1944 and landed at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland on July 8. Landing in Normandy, Thompson’s unit joined General George Patton’s Third Army and fought across Europe.

He participated in the campaigns for the Rhineland and Central Europe. In November, Thompson was wounded in action but remained with the unit until the end of the war when they found themselves in Austria.

Thompson was honorably discharged as a Private First Class and demobilized at Fort McPherson, Ga. in January 1946. He had served more than three years in the U.S. Army.

Thompson was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Service Medal and European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with with two Bronze Stars.

After World War II, Thompson returned to Limestone County where he continued to farm. He married Hazel Moore, and they have twins, Donald and Donnis, and three grandchildren. Thompson still resides in Greenbrier.

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