Centerville WWII veteran that shot down last Japanese fighter dies at 96

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CENTERVILLE, Tex. (KBTX) - A Centerville World War II veteran KBTX profiled in 2012 has passed away.

F.L. "Louie" Thompson, Jr. was 96. He was a fighter pilot whose involvement played a critical role in the demise of World War II.

"We called ourselves the Flying Deuces,” Thompson added in our 2012 story. "Topaz was my code name. There were two Thompson's in the squadron; and in the Solomon Islands, they hung Topaz down on me and I was known as 'Topaz' the rest of my life."

During his seven year career in the United States Marine Corps, Thompson was honored with a number of medals. Although incredibly modest, the honor he said he was most proud of took place during World War II on June 22, 1945.

"I shot down the last zero that ended the war,” said Thompson.

His heroic actions inside his fighter plane changed the world.

"I was just doing my job,” he said.

After World War II, Thompson was recalled to action for the Korean War. And when asked if he would do it all over again, Thompson said "in a cotton pickin' minute!"

Thompson eventually took over his family ranch and cotton farm after serving seven years overseas.

There is a public visitation Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m at the Walters Funeral Home in Centerville. A public memorial service will be Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the same place.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Leona Lord's Pantry, P.O. Box 101, Leona, Texas 75850 or the Scholarship Fund for Brazos Valley SoJourners Chapter 378, c/o Henry Hill, P.O. Box 10356, College Station, Texas 77842.