Winter/Thomson bridal party--l-r Grace Winter, Marion Winter Thomson, Commander Jim Thomson, best man Lt. Commander John M. Waters. Wedding was at the bride's parent's home--192 East Street. April 3, 1945
James Waldie Thomson Military Record
James Waldie Thomson descended from the carriage builder, George Thomson of Sterling, Scotland and his wife Mary Ann MacLaren.Their daughter, Mary Ann Christian MacLaren Thomson, married Rev. Matthew Parkhurst. Mary Ann’s brothe,r Duncan MacLaren Thomson, married Isabella Paton. Their son, George Thomso, married Hannah Belle Waldie. And their son, James Waldie Thomson, was born June 29, 1911, in Chicago, Illinois. Both of Jim's parents were born in Scotland. His father came to the US in 1875 and his mother, Hannah, came in 1889. George was president of a phosphate company. Jim’s siblings included, Duncan, Isabelle H., C. Elizabeth, Helen M., G. Muriel and George. Jim was the second son.
Jim graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1935. He skipped several classes while there. Upon his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1935, Jim Thomson was assigned to the USS Chicago. His duties aboard the cruiser continued until 1941, at which time he attended the Navy's graduate schools at Annapolis, Maryland, and at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1943, he assumed the duties of Gunnery Officer aboard the USS Concord and on the cruiser USS Trenton (CL-11). In 1944, he became "gun boss" of the USS Amsterdam in the Pacific. He was aboard the Amsterdam when the war ended. From 1945 through 1947, he served at the U. S. Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island. In 1947, CDR Thomson took command of the USS Perkins (DDR-377), until his assignment to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Commander Thomson assumed his duties as Executive Offier of the USS Wisconsin on May 16, 1952. On the Wisconsin, Jim served under four skippers and three sets of department heads.
Jim married Marion Allison Winter on April 3, 1945. They had four children: Mary Ann "Mary Mac", George, Barbara Allison and Charles Winter.
Jim was head of the weapons department from 1958-1960--they lived at 11 Porter Road near Gate 3 at Annapolis. Over the years they were based at Newport, San Diego, Albuquerque, Norfolk, San Diego again, D.C., San Diego again, Norfolk, and then in Arlington.
Wisconsin history that may be useful:
June 9 WISCONSIN steamed from Norfolk on a midshipmen training cruise which included visits to Greenock, Scotland; Brest, France; and Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
August 25 Departed Norfolk to participate in the NATO exercise “Operation Mainbrace” which commenced out of Greenock, Scotland and extended to Oslo, Norway.
September 24 Captain R. J. Foley relieved Captain Bruton of command.
September 24 WISCONSIN underwent overhaul in Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
February 11 WISCONSIN sailed for Cuban waters for refresher training
May 3 WISCONSIN departed for Newport Rhode Island on a two week indoctrination and training period followed by a three-day visit to New York City.
June 4 Midshipmen cruise to Rio de Janerio, Brazil; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
August 4 Returned to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for minor overhaul.
September 9 Captain M.F. D. Flaherty relieved Captain Foley of command. WISCONSIN departed Norfolk for Panama Canal and the Far East.
October 12 WISCONSIN relieved sistership USS NEW JERSEY (BB62) as flagship of the 7th Fleet.
October-December WISCONSIN visited Kobe, Sasebo, Yokosuka and Nagasaki.
December 25 WISCONSIN visited Hong Kong.
April 1 She is relieved of duty in the Far East at Yokosuka, Japan by USS ROCHESTER (CA-124); then departed for the United States.
April 13 Arrived Long Beach, CA
April 15 Departed Long Beach, Ca for Norfolk, VA.
May 4 Arrived Norfolk, VA
June 7 Battleship Division 2 Norfolk Va. The only time the four Iowa class battleships operated together. Closest to the camera is the Iowa, then the Wisconsin, Missouri and New Jersey.
June 11 WISCONSIN entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for minor overhaul. Captain G. Serpell Patrick relieved Captain Flaherty of command.
July 12 Midshipmen cruise to Greenock, Scotland, Brest, France and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
September 3-27 Portsmouth, VA for repairs
Moved up to Commandant & Midshipman Retired after 30 years. Did not make admiral.
Was he on the USS Harry F. Bauer?
From 1958-59, Jim was Head of Department of Ordinance and Gunnery at the Naval Academy.
From 1959-60. Jim served as Director of Naval Sciences at the US Naval Academy in the Department of Naval Sciences.
Jim's Career Timeline:
1931-35 US Naval Academy, Commisioned Ensign June 6.
1935-41 On board the USS Chicago, July 1, 1938 promoted to LT (jg), Long Beach, CA. He was in F Division (fire control-Catapult Officer) The FC rating was established in 1941, when it was split off from the gunner's mate rating. Fire controlmen were highly skilled technicians responsible for the operation of various forms of range finding gear, and solving ballistics calculations to control the firing of the ship's guns. These skills were originally employed primarily for naval gunfire support, and surface combat, but during World War II, the responsibilities expanded into anti-aircraft warfare as well. USS Chicago (CL/CA-29) was a Northampton-class cruiser of the United States Navy that served in the Pacific Theater in the early years of World War II. She was the second US Navy ship to be named after the city of Chicago. Jim left the ship before it shipped out to the Pacific after Pearl Harbor.
!941-42. On December 15, he was asssigned to Post Graduate School at the US Naval Academy.
1942-43 Sent to graduate school at MIT where he earned a master's. He later earned another master's at University of Maryland. He was Lt. Commander. During this time he spent 3-4 months on the USS Trenton which was based in Panama. He served with Nev Shafer. His title was "Electrical Consultant" and gun officer. The USS Trenton (CL-11) was an Omaha-class light cruiser, originally classified as a scout cruiser, of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship named for the city of Trenton, New Jersey. She spent most of her pre-war career moving between the Atlantic and the Pacific. From mid-1942 to mid-1944, she patrolled the western coast of South America between the Canal Zone and the Strait of Magellan.
1943-44 He was Gun Officer on the USS Concord (CL 10). His ranks was Commander. From 5 September–24 November 1943, the Concord carried Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd on a tour to survey the potential use of a number of southeast Pacific islands in national defense and commercial aviation. During this cruise, she suffered a gasoline explosion which killed 24 men including her executive officer, and caused considerable damage, which was repaired at Balboa, Panama. Jim joined the ship in Panama, likely to help with repairs and shakedown voyages.
1944-45 He was the Gun Officer on the USS Amsterdam (CL 101). Tours included Norfolk, VA, Western Pacific and Long Beach, CA
1945 April 3, Jim married Marion Allison Winter in Wrentham, MA.
1945-47 Jim was at the US Naval War College at Newport, RI. Daughter, Mary Mac, born July 1946.
1947-48 USS Perkins (DDR 877) San Diego, Eniwetok. Son, George, was born March 1948. USS Perkins (DD/DDR-877) was a Gearing-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was the third Navy ship named for Commodore George H. Perkins USN (1835–1899). In May 1947, she was in the Far East for three months on the China station, two weeks of which were spent off Chinwangtao, on the Gulf of Po Hai, observing Communist Chinese forces. Perkins returned to California in October and in January 1948 sailed to the Marshalls for the atomic bomb test series "Operation Sandstone". Jim was present for these test.
1948-50 Special Weapons Unit 802 Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM. Daughter, Barbara, born Sept 1950.
1950-52 Staff CG Sandia Base
1952-54 Executive Officer USS Wisconsin, promoted to Captain, Norfolk, VA. Son, Charles, born October 7, 1952. Lived at 6036 25th Road, Arlington, VA.
1954-56 Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, DC.
1956-57 Industrial College Armed Forces, Washington, DC
1957-58 USS Seminole (AKA 104) West Pacific, San Diego, CA. USS Seminole (AKA-104/LKA-104) was a Tolland-class attack cargo ship of the United States Navy named after counties in Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Seminole was designed to carry military cargo and landing craft, and to use the latter to land weapons, supplies, and Marines on enemy shores during amphibious warfare and operations. She served as a commissioned ship for 25 years and 9 months.
1958-60 Head of Department of Ordinances and Gunnery, US Naval Academy. Director of Naval Sciences Division
1960-61 Commander of Amphibian Squadron, (PHIB), Two Norfolk, VA Con, Phib/Run 2 flagshipnRome?
1961-65 Operation Tol, to CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) Washington, DC
1965-66 Consultant, Stanford Research Center (Amphibious Study), Washington DC, 2 yr appointment.
1966-76 Officer, Assistant Secretary of Naval Operation (Computers). Automated Data Processing for Equipment Selection Office.
Above is from the 1935 Naval Academy yearbook.
Jim and Marion Winter Thomson's wedding, April 3, 1945, in the home of the bride's parents, 192 East Street, Wrentham, with Grace Winter, Fannie and Charlie Winter (parents of the bride), Velma Winter behind Fannie and Charlie, Beth Winter far right. The couple drove to Newport News where he shipped out the next day. The minister was Melville Shafer who married the bride's parents 28 years prior.
Jim served as the Executive Officer on the USS Wisconsin in the 1950s. Here are some photos from its Cruise Book.
Dorm V. Menta, at left,was one of the three photographers that took the photos in the Cruise book below. In an e-mail to me he commented, "We worked on obtaining these photos during our deployment to the Far East from September 9, 1953, to our return to Norfolk, VA, on May 4, 1954. As a ships photographer, one of the many assignments we had was to take photos of events and dignitaries that were invited aboard by the Captain and his staff. So we did get to know the Captain and Executive officer pretty well.'
"Commander Thomson came across as someone who liked his ship very much and wanted the best for the ship he was responsible for. He was a stern but fair officer. I enjoyed the few conversations we had during our photo shoots. I enjoyed taking pictures when James was involved. He never gave me a hard time."
A view that Jim would have seen many times.
Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009 › ... W › USS Wisconsin (BB-64) › 1952-1954
Jim at left in photo above.
United States Naval Academy - Lucky Bag Yearbook (Annapolis, MD) 1960. James W. Thomson, fourth from left.
Gallery of James W. Thomson's Ships
United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Marion Winter Thomson died 26 Mar 2018 in Arlington, VA, she was 97.