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A Tradition of Service Logo 75Sgt Willard Tompkins

Submitted by: Leland E Tompkins (son)

Willard TompkinsSgt Willard Tompkins served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 21 Dec 1910 - 3 Oct 1919.


Willard Tompkins was my father and born in 1890 in England. He grew up in the state of Maine, U.S. He enlisted at Fort Wright, New York 21 Dec 1910. He was in the Coast Artillery and spent most of his time working on small boats for Harbor Defense around New York. He made Corporal in Oct 1912 and Sgt on 1 Aug 1917.

In 1917 he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division with the Ammunition Train. He and his unit moved as the Division did maintaining a flow of all types of munitions to the units. NCO's on motorcycles lead trucks into the units where they delivered the munitions. Also, NCO's where in charge of movements without officers at times.

Sgt Tompkins had worked on engines on boats and vehicles so he worked on the vehicles often along with unit mechanics.

After 11 Nov 1918 Sgt Tompkins was transferred to the 13th Infantry and performed occupation duties with that unit until it returned to the U.S. in Sept 1919 . My father separated from the Army at Camp Dix, NJ 3 Oct 1919.


During World War II he served with the Coast Guard Reserves on patrol boats out of San Diego, CA. My half brother Willard H Tompkins joined the Army in 1940 and served as a Infantryman in the 41st Infantry Division throughout the Pacific and occupation in Japan leaving the Army in 1946.

This all led me to join the Army in Jan 1968 and serve until Nov 1988. I served in Vietnam with the 101st ABN Division with 101st M.I. Co., Germany with 4th AD in 2d Bn 54th Inf, second time Germany in 8th Infantry Division with the 1st Bn13th Inf and Korea with 1st Bn 17th Inf. Stateside I served in the 1st Cav Div with 1st Sqdn 6th Cav, 163d M.I. Bn and activating the 7th Infantry Div at Fort Ord during 1974/75.

My son, SSg Travis M Tompkins joined the Army in Jan 2000 . He served as a MP with deployment to Saudi Arabia on 9/11/2001 until Apr 2002. Then three years in NATO AFN in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed to Afghanistan with 4th BCT 10th Mountain Division he was killed in a night ambush in Logar Provence 15 Mar 2011. I believe he will likely be the last of our family to serve in the military as he was the last male member. I and my son both were proud to follow the tradition started prior to WWI .

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