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Alexander Neil Thompson , Jr.

Date of birth: 5-Apr-43
Date of death: June 8, 1967
Home of record: Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania
Status: KIA


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the U.S.S. Liberty Incident

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Gunners Mate Third Class Alexander Neil Thompson, Jr. (NSN: 7704721), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with the unprovoked and unexpected armed attack on U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR), in the Eastern Mediterranean, on 8 June 1967. During the early afternoon hours, U.S.S. LIBERTY, while engaged in peaceful operations in international waters, was attacked without warning by jet fighter aircraft and three motor torpedo boats. The LIBERTY was subjected to intense incendiary, machine gun, and rocket fire and was placed in extreme jeopardy by a torpedo hit below the waterline on the starboard side in the vicinity of the Research compartment. Severe structural damage and extensive personnel casualties were incurred. Petty Officer Thompson, serving as Gunnery Repair Petty Officer, was at Machine Gun 51 conducting an inspection when the first strafing attack occurred. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine gun fire from the attacking aircraft and opened fire on them in accordance with the ship's gunner doctrine. Although all of the other men at the station had been killed or seriously wounded during the first pass of aircraft, Petty Officer Thompson courageously and single-handed operated Machine Gun 51 and continued to fire on the aircraft in the defense of his ship and shipmates until he was fatally wounded by a rocket blast. His aggressiveness and coolness under fire was exceptional inspirational leadership in an hour of awesome peril. Petty Officer Thompson's initiative and courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 8-Jun-67

Service: Navy

Rank: Gunner's Mate Third Class

Division: U.S.S. Liberty (AGTR-5)