Retired Aug. 1, 1985.
Lieutenant General Herman O. Thomson is director for plans and policy, Joint Staff, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
General Thomson was born in 1929, in Belton, Texas, and graduated from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University, College Station, in 1951 with a degree in business administration. He also earned a master of business administration degree in management from Auburn (Ala.) University, awarded in 1971. He is a distinguished graduate of the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
Upon graduation from college in 1951, General Thomson was designated a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and commissioned as a second lieutenant. He received his pilot wings at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., in November 1952 and then attended advanced flying school at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. From February 1953 to February 1958, he was assigned to the 12th Strategic Fighter Wing, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he was instrumental in establishing one of the first aircrew training programs for tactical nuclear weapons delivery.
From March 1958 to May 1960, General Thomson served as assistant base operations officer and wing standardization and training officer in the 7272nd Air Base Wing, Wheelus Air Base, Libya. He returned from overseas in June 1960 to become assistant professor of air science, Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Returning to tactical fighter operations in July 1964, he completed F-100 combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and then was assigned as assistant operations officer, 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., until August 1965.
General Thomson was then assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as chief, Combat Operations Center, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing. He was instrumental in the design and operation of a combined U.S. Air Force-Vietnamese air force operations center. Between September 1965 and August 1966, he flew more than 100 combat missions in F-100s.
In August 1966 he become an instructor pilot at Luke Air Force Base, and later operations officer for the 4515th Combat Crew Training Squadron. In August 1968 he was named commander of the 425th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., and was responsible for training pilots of 15 foreign nations in F-5s.
After attending the Air War College from August 1970 to August 1971, General Thomson was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Directorate of Plans as an action officer in international negotiations. He participated in the formulation and advocacy of U.S. Air Force positions relative to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. He later become deputy assistant for National Security Council matters, deputy assistant for Joint matters, and deputy assistant for Joint and National Security Council matters. In July 1974 he was appointed assistant director of plans for Joint and National Security Council matters, and in August 1976 he become deputy director for plans and policy.
From August 1977 to July 1979, the general served as deputy chief of staff, plans, at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and was subsequently named deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence. General Thompson became vice commander in chief of Pacific Air Forces in December 1980. He assumed his present duties in August 1983.
General Thomson is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 1, 1983.
General Thomson's hometown is Breckenridge, Texas.