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American John T. THOMPSON

born John Taliaferro THOMPSON

United States Army officer best remembered as the inventor of the Thompson submachine gun

Source :  Sylvain ARNAUD

Born: on December 31, 1860 in Newport, Kentucky, USA
Died: on June 21, 1940 in Great Neck, New York, USA


Born on December 31, 1860 in Newport, Kentucky, Thompson grew up on a succession of Army posts and had decided on the military as a career by the age of sixteen. His father was Lt. Col. James Thompson, his mother was Maria Taliaferro. After a year at Indiana University in 1877, he gained an appointment to the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1882.

His first duty station was in his birthplace of Newport, where he was assigned to the 2nd Artillery as a second lieutenant. He then attended engineering and artillery schools, and was finally assigned to the Army's Ordnance Department in 1890, where he spent the rest of his military career. During this period he began his specialization in small arms.

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