MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Thompson, a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and the oldest member of the Madison County Military Heritage Commission's Hall of Heroes, died Sunday at the age of 98.
Thompson was shot down during an attack on a Japanese Destroyer during the war. He survived for three days while floating on a raft in the Pacific Ocean with two crew members before they were rescued.
For his service during the war, LTC Thompson was the recipient of the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart.
After WWII, Thompson finished college and received a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. He was instrumental in the establishment of a research institute that later became UAH.
LTC Thompson will be laid to rest Wednesday, July 20. Visitation is at Valhalla Funeral Home at 12 p.m. with the funeral services at 1 p.m. Interment is in the Valhalla Garden of Valor.
The Army National Guard will provide full military honors, and the AMC Band will provide a bugler for the final sounding of Taps.
Valhalla Funeral Home is located at 698 Winchester Road NE, Huntsville, AL. The cemetery is located on the property.
Here is Thompson's obituary.