From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David Thompson '68

Date of birth: May 9, 1946

Date of death: August 12, 1972

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1968 Lucky Bag:


David was lost on August 12, 1972 when his F-8J crashed on approach to USS Hancock.

He has a memory marker in Hawaii.


From the November 1972 issue of Shipmate in the Class of 1968 column:

[Dick Evert '68] wrote, "We just lost radio contact and that was it." Marty called Ruthie Thompson and she was doing as well as could be expected. She has since sold the house in San Diego and moved back to Pittsburg. Again it saddens us all, and on behalf of the class, let me extend our sincere sympathy to Ruthie and her family.

(The column begins with mention of a "night cat shot;" the deck log of USS Hancock makes clear that David crashed while attempting to recover aboard the ship.


This is a cropped picture of Lt. Thompson from a VF-24 squadron photo taken in the summer of 1972.

From Wall of Faces:

The entire extended Ryder / Schell family back in the Philadelphia area will never forget and are honored and humbled by David's service to our country. Although my grandmother Lillian Ryder kept in touch with his mom Gertrude and my own mom his aunts , I was way to young to have known Lt Thompson growing up in Allentown. So we will keep David's memory alive in our families now. We will never forget him and will always visit the memorial when we are in Washington DC. 6/11/15

David was one of my father's students at Mt. Lebanon High School, Pittsburgh, PA. Being very young at the time of his casualty, I do not remember much about David. I do remember his picture in his white Navy uniform. Very impressive.

My father says he was an excellent student and a very good person. This young man meant a lot to my father and I write this so that everyone knows Lt. Thompson is still remembered. DANIELLE ZEEDICK, DMZ123@EROLS.COM, 2/13/99

Related Articles

John Ludwig, III '68 was also in 18th Company.

Class of 1968

David is one of 29 members of the Class of 1968 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.