Thompson, Robert Alan, BM3

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary NEC
BM-0164-Assault Boat Coxswain
Last Rating/NEC Group
Boatswain's Mate
Primary Unit
1967-1969, BM-0164, Coastal Surveillance Force (TF-115)
Service Years
1964 - 1969
BM-Boatswain's Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

3 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Thompson, Robert Alan, BM3.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 19, 1969
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Kien Giang (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Rose Hills Cemetery - Whittier, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
24W 056

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Vietnam Combat Craft Crewmember Badge

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryMobile Riverine Force Association
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, Mobile Riverine Force Association [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
SERE SchoolCOMNAVFORVCoastal Division 13 (COSDIV 13)Coastal Surveillance Force (TF-115)
  1967-1967, BM-0000, SERE School
  1967-1967, BM-0164, COMNAVFORV
  1967-1969, BM-0164, Coastal Division 13 (COSDIV 13)
  1967-1969, BM-0164, Coastal Surveillance Force (TF-115)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1969 Operation Stable Door
  1966-1969 Operation Game Warden
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (68-69)/Operation Swift Raider
  1968-1969 Operation Search Turn
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  REMEMBERED, by another swift boat sailor, Terry Boone
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Tour Dates :   Jun 6, 1967  to   May 19, 1969


Patrol Boat



His wish came true

Robert Alan Thompson, BM3, U.S. Navy, was a crewman on the Navy patrol boats known as Swiftboats. These 50 foot unarmored boats had been sent to South Vietnam in late 1965 to patrol the coasts but had proved well suited to patrolling the rivers as well.
Bob, also known as Tom to some, had been on the boats long enough to be reassigned to a staff position in his boat Division, Coastal Division 13 located at Cat Lo on the rivers leading to Saigon. He was always asking to fill in on the crews to get back on the boats.
On May 15, 1969, PCF 51 had been ambushed and lost several members of the crew. The Division had always returned 51 to action as quickly as possible. By May 19, the boat was ready to return to action but she did not have a full crew. Bob finally got his wish to get back on the boats.
The boats were patrolling a canal called Rach Eolon in what was known as the Rung Sat Special Zone. This area was thick jungle and controlled by Viet Cong and North Vietnam forces.
The ambush was, as they all were, quick. Bob was manning the twin .50cal machine guns when he was hit. He was medevaced to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Bob is remembered and honored by all the sailors that served on Swiftboats in Vietnam. He is especially remembered by those who served with him as a large man with a bigger heart.

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