- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Clayton N. Gompf, 88, retired Army colonel

Col. Clayton N. Gompf, a decorated military veteran and Pentagon employee, died May 12 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital of pneumonia and complications from a heart attack. He was 88.

Col. Gompf was born May 4, 1918, in Towson, Md., and graduated from Towson High School. At 19, he graduated summa cum laude from Western Maryland College in Westminster with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, science and physical education.

He later earned a master’s degree in international relations from George Washington University and also was educated at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Col. Gompf was inducted into the Army as a lieutenant in November 1939 and tested tank destroyers during World War II at Fort Hood, Texas.

After graduating from the Intelligence School at Fort Riley, Kan., he was shipped out to European Command headquarters in Germany and participated in the spy trials after the war ended.

After attending the Armor School at Fort Knox, Ky., Col. Gompf took command of a tank battalion at Camp Polk, La. He then attended the Command and General Staff College before being deployed to Korea.

Col. Gompf then reported to Fort Bliss, Texas, as an instructor at the Guided Missile School and attended the Armed Forces Staff College before shipping to Naples and serving in the office of the commander in chief at NATO headquarters.

He later took command of the 1st Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bindlach and Bayreuth, Germany.

After attending the Army War College in the District, Col. Gompf held numerous posts at the Pentagon.

During the Vietnam War, Col. Gompf reactivated and commanded the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, Md. The cavalry was sent to the District to help quell riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Col. Gompf then served in Vietnam as senior province adviser for the Binh Dinh province. After his retirement, he was called back to the Pentagon as a civilian to continue his work with the all-volunteer Army. He served as deputy for military personnel and policies for 14 years in the Army Secretariat.

Col. Gompf earned the Distinguished Service Medal, four Legion of Merit awards, four Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and a Combat Infantry Badge.

As a civilian, he earned the Department of the Army’s Exceptional Civilian Service award and received the presidential rank of meritorious executive in the Senior Executive Service under President Reagan.

Col. Gompf lived in McLean for 35 years and spent his last years at the Fairfax Retirement Community at Fort Belvoir.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Florine, of Fort Belvoir; a daughter, Gail Ann Gompf of Alexandria; a son, Clayton N. Gompf Jr. of Findlay, Ohio; and a granddaughter.

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