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LTC Ernie William Wilkowski

LTC Ernie William Wilkowski

Birth
Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 11 May 1992 (aged 74)
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Burial Glasgow, Valley County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 25464368 · View Source
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Dad wrote his own obituary and we filled in the blanks after he died. I think he wanted to make sure we got the names of the medals right. He was very proud of his service and so are we.

Ernie W Wilkowski

Lt Col. Ernie W. Wilkowski (Ret.), 74, a resident of this area for more than a quarter of a century and close-out commander at Glasgow Air Force Base, died at the Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Ore., May 11 following a long illness.

A son of Ernest and Mae Wilkowski, he was born Dec 24, 1917 in Fond du Lac, Wis. He married Helen Ahlborg Sept. 1, 1945, in Superior, Wisc.

He first entered military service in 1935 in the Naval Reserve. He enlisted in the army in 1941 and was accepted into the Army Air Corps in January of 1942. In 1943, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He flew 65 bombing missions in a B-26 for a total of 200 combat hours over Europe during World War II. After the war, Col. Wilkowski volunteered for Civil Air Patrol duty and acted as liaison in the organization and management units in Charlotte, N.C., Racine, Wisc., and Yuma, Ariz.. It was during this duty that he headed a mission of outstanding U.S. cadets to Switzerland for a summer training session. He was awarded glider wings for soloing with the Swiss Army. He piloted the C-45s, C-47s, and B-25s for 22 years while with the Air Force. Col. Wilkowski was named outstanding supply officer by headquarters USAF in 1963 for organization and operation of a PACAF pilot program for consolidation of organizations while stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. He was stationed at Glasgow Air Force Base in 1964 as deputy base commander for supply and was named commander and close-out officer in 1968. He retired from military service July 31, 1969 and remained in the Glasgow area until the time of his death.

During his military career, he earned the Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign with Foreign Service, European/African/Middle Eastern Campaign with assault landing, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal/Germany, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Overseas Unit Award/Long Tour with bronze oak leaf cluster, French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

Col. Wilkowski was a member of Glasgow Wranglers Kiwanis and served as Montana District Governor from 1986 to 1987. He was a Fourth Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus and was active in these organizations until the time of his death.

He enjoyed spending summers in Rhinelander, Wisc., camping in his Airstream near the lake and visiting lifelong friends. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends, collecting trophies and stories.

Rosary was recited at 7p.m., May 15, in the Bell Chapel. Services were held at 11 a.m., May 16, in St Raphael's Catholic Church with Father John Coady officiating. Soloists were Karen Breigenzer and Joe Goulet. Helen Hoffman was the organist.

Burial was in Highland Cemetery with military rites provided by American Legion Post 41 and the VFW Post 3107. The honor guard and firing squad were from Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls under the direction of Sgt Olin Wilson. Taps was played by Scott Mallard.

Named as pallbearers were Wayne Dale, Don Paulsen, John Hoyt, Stan Sonsteng, Leland Smelser and Robert Sizemore.

Bell Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.


Family Members

Siblings

Inscription

Ernie W Wilkowski
Lt Col US Air Force
WWII Korea Vietnam
Dec 24, 1917 May 11 1992


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  • Created by: treetracker
  • Added: 23 Mar 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 25464368
  • treetracker
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for LTC Ernie William Wilkowski (24 Dec 1917–11 May 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 25464368, citing Highland Cemetery, Glasgow, Valley County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by treetracker (contributor 46988783) .