By: Peter Grilley | Published: 2018-02-27
|Service as Adjutant General:
Born: 1878, Indiana
Died: 1954, Tacoma, WA
Maurice was born on 1878 in Indiana as the oldest child to William (Will) H Thompson and Adna () Thompson. Will Thompson volunteered as private with the 4th Georgia Infantry fighting for the Confederacy at Gettysburg. Will and Adna moved their family from Indiana to Seattle in 1889 where Will became a prominent attorney. Will and his brother are also credited as the founders of American sports archery. Will won several Olympic medals in archery events.
Maurice enlisted as a private with Company B, 1st Regiment, Washington Volunteers in July 1898 at the age of 21 in response to the mobilization for the Spanish American War. However, at 5’8″ and 120 pounds, he was considered too skinny for mobilization. Following the return of the Washington Volunteers in 1899, Maurice rejoined Company B as a Private. He was subsequently promoted to Corporal, Sergeant and First Sergeant until May 1901 when he received his commission as an Infantry Lieutenant with Company B. On Oct 30, 1905, he become a Captain and the Company Commander for Company B until detailed to the Adjutant General’s office in 1909. On March 31, 1911, Maurice Thompson was promoted to Major and assumed command to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, National Guard of Washington while also fulfilling his detail to the Adjutant General’s office.
On May 1, 1914, Major Thompson was selected as Adjutant General, National Guard of Washington replacing BG Fred Llewellen.
After overseeing the mobilization of the National Guard of Washington for World War I and the creation of the State Guard, BG Thompson was ordered to Active Duty in 1918 replaced by BG Harvey J. Moss. BG Moss retired as Adjutant General on December 26, 1919 and BG Thompson served as Acting Adjutant General December 26-31. On January 1, 1920, Maurice Thompson was once again assigned as the Adjutant General for Washington. His service continued until his retirement in 1941 after the Washington National Guard had been mobilized for World War 2. His replacement this time was BG Walter J. Long. During this time, BG Thompson served as the head of the Washington State Selective Service program.
Following the end of World War 2, Maurice Thompson was again selected as the Adjutant General. His job this time was to prepare for the reconstitution of the Washington National Guard in 1947. With the successful return of the Washington National Guard, Thompson retired. With a combined service of 29 years as Adjutant General, Thompson is the longest serving Adjutant General in Washington State and the fifth longest serving in United States history.
Maurice W. Thompson died in Tacoma in 1954 at the age of 76.