Captain Lewis H. Thames enlisted in the U. S. Navy at El Paso, Texas, in 1953 and served aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47) off the coast of Korea during the latter stages of the Korean War.  As a Petty Officer Second Class, he competed for a Secretary of the Navy appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy, and entered the Academy in June 1956. 

Captain Thames graduated and was commissioned as Ensign in June 1960.  His first assignment was as Main Propulsion Assistant and then as Damage Control Assistant aboard the USS Taylor (DDE 468).  In June 1962, he reported to the USS Carpenter (DD 825) and served as Engineer Officer for 18 months, followed by an additional 18-month tour on board as Operations Officer.  Both of these ships were homeported in Pearl Harbor.  In August 1965, he reported to the U. S. Naval Academy for a tour of duty as a Company Officer.  In 1967, he earned a Master of Science degree from George Washington University. 

From October 1968 to June 1970, Captain Thames served as River Squadron/Task Group Commander in the Mekong Delta, Republic of Viet Nam.  Earned Naval Aviation Observer Wings. 

From August 1970 to June 1973, Captain Thames was Commanding Officer of the USS Vernon County (LST 1161).  He then served as Commanding Officer USS Richard B. Anderson (DD786) from July 1973 to November 1975, both ships homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. 

He next served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D. C., as Head, Manpower Analysis and Systems Development Branch (OP-121) from January 1975 to July 1978.  From August 1978 to October 1981, he served as Director of Training/Navy Liaison Officer at the Department of Defense Management Institute, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.  He earned a diploma from the Air War College during this tour. 

Returning to sea in December 1981, Captain Thames became Chief of Staff to Commander Middle East Force in the Persian Gulf, departing in May 1983. 

From July 1983 to July 1986, Captain Thames was the Commanding Officer NROTC/Professor of Naval Science at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. 

Captain Thames was Chief of Staff to Commander Naval Forces Japan in Yokosuka, Japan, from August 1986 to July 1989. 

In July 1989, Captain Thames became Inspector General on the staff of Chief of Naval Technical Training at NAS Memphis in Millington, Tennessee, and was statutorily retired on 1 July 1990. 

Among the more than 25 awards and decorations Captain Thames is authorized to wear are: the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and Gold Star in Lieu of a Second Award, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars in Lieu of a second/third award, the Air Medal (with numeral 8), the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. 

Captain Thames is married to the former Deanna Cunningham of Odessa, Texas.  They have two daughters, Laura Leigh and Julia Lynn, and a son, Wade Calvert.