John was born in Saltford, on 16
August 1914, joined the RAF in 1934, posted to 29 Sqn and then
to 56 Sqn (15/01/1936). He became 'A' -flight commander of 151
sqn and then went on commanding 111 sqn in January 1940. After
leading his unit in France, he then saw action over Southern
England throughout August. A DFC was awarded in September
1940. In June 1941, he formed and commanded 131 Sqn. This unit
contained a Belgian Flight and when in November, they formed
the basis for 350 Sqn, the Belgians asked for him, and he
moved to lead this unit until March 1942. Promoted Wing
Commander, he was posted to the Middle East, Here he took over
the Takali Wing. Later on he took over command of the Hal Far
Wing . He received a Bar to his DFC after the October 'Blitz'.
At the end of 1942, he lead all three Malta Wings. In May
1943, he was awarded a DSO. In June he was posted to Air HQ ,
Malta, as W/Cdr Training. After six weeks of Illness, he
became Station Commander of Hal Far, from March to February
1944. He then commanded a Wing at Palermo. He moved the to
Algiers to command 338 Wing. Promoted G/Cpt he went to
Operations HQ, Macat. He ended the war as commander of
the Personnel Training Center at Naples. He returned to the
UK, becoming Sector Commander at North Weald. He attendee the
RAF Staff College in September 1945, he then made career at
the RAF, retiring as Air Commodore in 1966. He died on
23rd July 1994.
for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“Squadron Leader John Marlow THOMPSON (34185).
officer has commanded a squadron since January, 1940,
and has operated over various areas in Northern France.
He has taken part in nearly every patrol and, under his
leadership, eighty-one enemy aircraft have been
destroyed, twelve probably destroyed and at least
forty-four damaged. He has, himself, shot down eight
and damaged at least six enemy aircraft.”
Gazette – 6 September 1940)
for the award of the Distinguished Service Order
Commander John Marlow THOMPSON, D.F.C (34183).
officer has a fine operational record. He fought in
France and later took part in the Battle of Britain.
For the past 9 months he has been engaged in flying
operations from Malta, playing a prominent part in the
defence of the island during a period of intense air
attacks. Latterly, Wing Commander Thompson has led
formations of fighter-bombers in numerous successful
attacks against port installations, factories, airfields
and other targets. By his great skill and brilliant
leadership, Wing Commander Thompson has contributed in a
large measure to the excellent results obtained.”
Gazette – 1 June 1943)