Dayton RAF Flyer Lost Over Corsica

Richard W. Gilkey, flying officer in the royal air force, who worked for the state department for a year following his graduation from Oregon State college in 1940, has been reported missing in action.  Word was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Gilkey of route 1, Dayton.  Mr. Gilkey is on the staff of the state tax commission.  His sister, Dr. Helen Gilkey, is professor of botany at Oregon State college.

A letter from his wing command, H. Law-Wright, of the RAF stationed in North Africa, gave the details of his last mission, as far as they were known.  His plane was delayed to flying duty over the northwest Mediterranean on December 28 and evidently was crippled by enemy fire and failed to make port.  Wing Commander Law-Wright’s letter said:

“It is with great regret that I am now writing to tell you of the circumstances in which your son was posted missing at about midday on the 28th December 1943.

He was captain of an aeroplane which took off on a low level reconnaissance mission for enemy shipping in the northwest Mediterranean.  Towards the end of his patrol a message was received from him stating that he was intending to make a landing on one engine at an aerodrome in Corsica.  No further word was received from his aircraft and its precise situation was unknown.  A very thorough search of the whole area in which he could have been was immediately carried out, both by fighters and by aircraft specially employed on air sea rescue operations.  I am sorry to say that these failed to reveal any sign of your son or his crew, and I can therefore offer no hope of his having been picked up.

Dick was one of the most capable pilots that we have on the squadron, and I feel sure that if anything could have been to save his crew and himself, he would have done it. He was a leader in every sense of the word, and I expected great things of him in his operations against the enemy.

During the time that he was with us, he made himself very popular with everyone and he is now sadly missed by all of us.”

Gilkey, who graduated from Lincoln high, Portland, before attending OSC, enlisted in the RAF in 1941,  He trained in Canada and later in England. In the winter of 1941-42 he ferried 21 planes across the Atlantic  In the winter of 1942-43 he was assigned to patrol duty over the North sea and was sent to Africa in May, 1943.  He  had 500 hours of combat flying, had been awarded a medal and recommend for promotion to the rank of squadron leader, he reported in his last letter home.

A younger brother, Jim, is an air cadet at Yale university.

Source:  Salem Statesman Journal, January 14, 1944.


Richard Gilkey Missing

Flying Officer Richard Gilkey, 28, of the RAF, son of J.S. Gilkey of the state tax commission, who is well known in Eugene through his frequent visits here on official business, has been reported missing in action over Corsica.

The missing flyer’s wife, the former Mary Robinson of Eugene, is now at San Rafael, Calif., where she is a planning technician for Marin county.

Gilkey is a graduate of the Oregon State College and joined the Canadian air force in 1941.

Source:  Eugene Guard, January 23, 1944.

James Gilkey, Jesse S. Gilkey

EUGENE – Jesse S. Gilkey and his son, James, who died in a plane crash in April, will be buried Saturday at Zena Cemetery in Polk County following funeral services in Eugene.

The bodies of the two men were recently recovered from the wreckage of their plane in the mountains east of Estacada.

The elder Gilkey, a native of Colorado, lived in the Dayton area.  The son, James, was an owner of David-Lawrence, Inc., a Eugene manufacturing firm.

Jesse Gilkey graduated from Oregon State College in 1909 and was engaged in business in Portland for many years.  In 1930, he became an appraisal engineer for the State Tax Commission in Salem.

His first wife, Mildred Frakes, died in 1961.  He is survived by his second wife, Jane Coffman Gilkey, and two sisters, Helen and Beulah Gilkey of Corvallis.  He was a 50-year Mason, a Shrine and past master of Dayton Masonic Lodge.

James Gilkey was a World War II veteran and a master Mason.  He is survived by his widow and two sons.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Simons & Lounsbury Funeral Home in Eugene.

Source:  Salem Capital Journal, June 9, 1965.

Some Short Death Notices

A news dispatch last week reported the death of John Bradbury at his home in Wallace. Mr. Bradbury was at one time cashier of the Kendrick State Bank. (Kendrick Gazette, October 3, 1919)

Newton Frakes, who died near Mitchell, Crook county, Oregon, on the 26th of last month, was born and raised in Polk county, where he has many friends. He was about 40 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children to mourn his loss. (Independence Enterprise, January 24, 1895)

Graveside services and a Masonic ritual will be conducted Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Zena Cemetery for Jesse S. Gilkey, Dayton, and his son, James, Eugene, whose bodies were found recently in a crashed plane in the Cascades.  Services will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Simons & Lounsbury Funeral Home at Eugene.  (Salem Statesman Journal, June 10, 1965)

Continue reading “Some Short Death Notices”

Miss Robinson, Mr. Gilkey Wed in Reno

Announcement has come to Salem friends of the marriage of Miss Mary Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.R. Robinson of Eugene, to Richard W. Gilkey, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Gilkey of Salem.

The bride, former student at the University of Oregon, has been planning technician for the Marin county planning commission in California.

Mr. Gilkey, also a former student at the university, has been in the state highway office in Salem and is to be a pilot for the Royal Canadian air force. He reports for duty in Canada on July 21.

Source: Salem Capital Journal, June 26, 1941.

Anna Walling Frakes Peaslee

PEASLEE—At the residence near Ryan Place, Or., July 3, Anna Walling Peaslee, aged 74 years, beloved mother of Mildred Gilkey and Mrs. [sic] C.N. Frakes of Portland and Mrs. Lorraine Kell of Tacoma, Wash. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 6, at 2 P.M. at the residential chapel of Miller & Tracey at intersection of Washington and Morrison, 1 block beyond 20th.  Private incineration, Lincoln Memorial Park cemetery, BR 2691.

Source:  Portland Oregonian, July 5, 1929.

Walling Clan Reunion Held on Old Claim

Lincoln—Meeting for the 13th annual clan re-union between 80 and 90 of the descendants of the original pioneer Walling family met at the J.D. Walling home which is located on the old donation land claim of the first J.D. Walling and spent the day visiting and with sports and a bountious [sic] basket dinner at noon.

One of the surprises of the day came with the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Walling and sons, Walter and Dick, of Minneapolis, Minn., who had arranged their vacation at a time which would allow them to attend the re-union. Walter Walling is a son of Gabriel Walling. He gave an interesting talk in the afternoon. J.R. Shepard, an old-time friend of the family, was present and gave a talk which was much appreciated, and another friend, C.S. Chapman, sang several numbers. Both Shepard and Chapman were from Portland.

Twenty-one years had elapsed since O.S. Pomeroy of Kimberly, Idaho, had been here. Mrs. Pomeroy was here three years ago. Pomeroy used to drive a stage in this part of the valley, and he is very much surprised and pleased with the great development which has been taking place all about particularly the change in roads and their better condition. The Pomeroys formerly lived at Woodburn.

Relatives and guests who signed the registration book which is being kept each year were as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. O.S. Pomeroy of Kimberly, Idaho; Mr. and Mrs. Fall and three children, Portland; Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Walling and sons, Walter and Dick, Minneapolis, Minn.; Tracey Walling and daughters, Jaunita [sic], Dorothy, Genevieve, and Marian, Lincoln; Mrs. Grace Walling Portland; Miss Lorine Walling, Portland; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Walling, Portland; Mr. and Mrs. D.K. Keyt, Perrydale; Mrs. Linna Keyt, Ferris; Mrs. Elsie L. Stutz, Perrydale; Lawrence Macken and Jean Macken, Perrydale; J.W. Walling, Amity; Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Munkers and children, Loma and Jessie, McMinnville; J.R. Shepard, Portland; Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Reaney and daughter, Grace, Salem; Mrs. Jennie Walling McFarland, Salem; Mrs. Mary E. Jennings, Salem; Mrs. Ellen Southwick, Salem; Mrs. Mary Wait, Salem; Mr. and Mrs. George G. Walling and daughters, Ruthie and Adetha, Sherwood; Mrs. Sylvia Holznagel, Herman Holznagel and Robert Holznagel, Sherwood; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Walling, Amity; Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Wright, Salem; Mr. and Mrs. Jess Gilkey, Portland; Miss Lorine and Claude Walling, Salem; Miss Marjorie Walling, Amity; Mr. and Mrs. J. Fred Purvine, Mr. and Mrs. Kirk , Walling and daughter Loraine, Dayton; Mr. and Mrs. James W. Mott and daughters, Francis and Dorothy, Salem; C.S. Chapman, Portland; Mrs. Grant Walling, Dayton; O.C. Wait, Salem; Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Walling, Salem, Jessie [sic] Walling and two sons, Jesse and Ellis, Zena; Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Walling, Portland; Lowell Purvine, Portland; Mr. Case, Portland; and Mr. Massey, Amity.

Source: The Salem Capital Journal, July 7, 1931.