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 R. L. Walker

R. L. Walker

Birth
Yoakum, DeWitt County, Texas, USA
Death 25 Jun 2015 (aged 92)
Medina, Bandera County, Texas, USA
Burial Medina, Bandera County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 149687335 · View Source
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R.L. Walker, 92, of Medina, Texas, passed away on 25 June, 2015 at his home in Medina, Texas surrounded by his wife, Billie Marie Walker and other family members. He was born 19 December 1922 at Yoakum, TX. He was the eldest of eleven children. His parents were Tina Mae McGrew and Charles Daniel Walker. He was the descendant of two pioneer Bandera County families, Grandmother Melvina Bandy and Grandfather James Washington Walker, who herded camels at Camp Verde in 1863. R.L. lived in Medina most of his life, where he attended school before entering the military service in January 1942.

After completion of basic training at Jackson, Mississippi he served with the 9th Air Force 344th Bomb Group where the Martin’s B-26 Marauder came off the assembly line without being flight-tested and consequently became known as the Widow Maker. R.L. was in Aircraft Maintenance and flew as one of three flight engineers assigned to his group when the phrase, “One a day in Tampa Bay” was popular. After the B-26 was modified, it became one of the safest bombers to be in the European Theater during WWII. After R.L. was sent to Curtis Electric Prop Specialist School and Emery Riddle School of Aviation, Miami, FL he was grounded as being more valuable on the ground than in the air. The 344th participated in D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge as well as several other battles during the twenty months R.L. served in the European Theater of Operation.

Discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corp, October 1945, he spent the next two years as a civilian at his home town of Medina, TX. During that time he met and married Billie Davenport of Bandera, TX, on 1 August 1946. Their loving union produced a son, Charles Claybourne Walker, that both became very proud of and loved very much. In January 1947, R.L. reenlisted in the Air Force and spent the next twelve years as an Athletic Instructor where he instructed, coached, and played all the major and minor sports. His most outstanding baseball season was in 1951. After a season of 22-3 record, he tossed two one-hitters and pitched a doubleheader allowing but four hits. R.L. was an excellent hitter, 300 plus average that included three home runs and 15 other extra hits. He was selected to be on the New Mexico All-State Semi-Pro Baseball Team composed of 16 players. When he pitched at the National Tournament in Wichita, Kansas, he was scouted and offered a major league tryout by the Chicago White Sox, which he declined to remain in the Air Force. R.L. was unanimously selected for the Kirtland preliminary game against the Harlem Globetrotters at Albuquerque, NM. In 1956 at the North Africa/Mediterranean volleyball conference meet, R.L. was named most valuable player. The team advanced to play in the All Europe Tourney and he was chosen to be on the All Star Team. In 1963, he was again named MVP at the Air Training Command tournament, Randolph AFB, TX. He coached and played the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron team which swept the 1965 Intramural Volleyball Championship with a 21-0 record (actually this team was never scored on). A qualified physical education instructor could not be recruited from the United States for the Rabat-Sale’ Morocco dependent school in 1956 because of political unrest, so R.L was recruited as the PE instructor/coach for grades 1 through 12. A change in career fields, March 1958, R.L. entered into training as a jet aircraft mechanic and completed his training in May of that year. He was assigned Flight Chief duties of fifty-eight T-33’s while assigned to Air Training Command. He was NCOIC of Alert Facilities, 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron supervising maintenance on F-102 aircraft that was maintaining 24 hour alert for Northern NORAD Region. Also served as the First Sergeant of the 59th. R.L. retired from the Air Force in 1966. During his military service Master Sergeant Walker has received the following Decorations and Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with six battle stars, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.

After his retirement, R.L. worked at several jobs; Mooney Aircraft, Civilian Service at Kelly AFB and Security Service, and the US Post Office.

R.L. enjoyed hunting, fishing, water skiing and traveling. He has been in all 50 of the United States since his retirement, mostly traveling in his motor home. One meaningful trip for R.L. was for the dedication of the World War II Memorial at Washington DC. He was very proud to have been a part of the Greatest Generation.

He is survived by his wife, Billie Marie Walker; son, Charles “Clay” Walker of Medina, TX; granddaughter, Leigh Ann and her husband Joe Limon of San Antonio, TX; and greatgrandson, Josh Walker of Medina, Texas. His sisters are Tootie Feagan, Charlsie Porter, Jackie Ross, Nancy Estes, Elayne Mills, and Debra Friedman, a brother; Charles W. Walker. Sisters Wanda Lynch, Ellen McGee and Faye Jones are deceased.


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  • Created by: Neal
  • Added: 23 Jul 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 149687335
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for R. L. Walker (19 Dec 1922–25 Jun 2015), Find A Grave Memorial no. 149687335, citing Oak Rest Cemetery, Medina, Bandera County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Neal (contributor 47950174) .