ARMED FORCES: Soldier Thompson

In one of the foxholes dotting the perimeter guarding the Army's 25th Division near Masan, Korea last August, a thin, hollow-eyed G.I. sat intently watching the dark no man's land ahead. He was Pfc. William Thompson of M Company. His buddies in the 25th's all-Negro 24th Regiment knew him as a professional type—always quiet, never talkative about his past. There wasn't much Private Thompson wanted to tell. Born out of wedlock, he had been brought up by his grandmother in New York City tenements, had finally run away and been taken into a shelter for waifs. In 1945,...

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