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CWO Faustin Edmond Wirkus

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CWO Faustin Edmond Wirkus Veteran

Birth
Death
8 Oct 1945 (aged 48–49)
Burial
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA Add to Map
Plot
Sec: 10, Site: 10695
Memorial ID
View Source
Fantastic Career of Faustin Wirkus,
Coal Miner who Became a King, Ended by Death
Source: "United Mine Workers Journal," November 15, 1945

The fantastic career of Marine warrant Officer Faustin H, Wirkus, 48, former Pittston PA, coal miner, who became king of a tropical isle, ended October 8, when he died in Brooklyn, NY, Naval Hospital. Wirkus ruled the island of la Gonave off Port au Prince from 1925 to 1929.

Born in Pittston, the son of a Polish-American mine worker, Wirkus was destined for the life of a coal miner, but he ran away at 18 and joined the marines. In 1925, when a gunnery sergeant, he was appointed Marine administrator of La Gonave to halt internal disputes among the 12,000 natives on the small island.

La Gonave had had a king named Faustin. When Faustin Wirkus arrived the natives knelt before him and buxom Queen Ti Meminne pronounced him the reincarnation of the late ruler, Wirkus became king and wore a two-foot crown. He was admitted to voodoo rituals and acquired a deeper knowledge of black magic than any other white man of his time.

Wirkus gained wide publicity when the late William Seabrook, novelist, visited La Gonave and wrote a book "The Magic Isle." However, officials of Haiti, which claimed jurisdiction over La Gonave became jealous and forced Wirkus to abdicate in 1929. He was discharged from the Marine Corps the same year.

Later he wrote a book with Taney Dudley, "The White King of La Gonave," lectured and became a bond broker in New York. In 1937 he married an Atlanta girl, who with their 7-year old son survives.

Wirkus returned to the Marine Corps in 1939 as a recruiting specialist and last year was appointed instructor in aviation gunnery at the Chapel Hill, NC, Marine station.
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Futher Reading
Fantastic Career of Faustin Wirkus,
Coal Miner who Became a King, Ended by Death
Source: "United Mine Workers Journal," November 15, 1945

The fantastic career of Marine warrant Officer Faustin H, Wirkus, 48, former Pittston PA, coal miner, who became king of a tropical isle, ended October 8, when he died in Brooklyn, NY, Naval Hospital. Wirkus ruled the island of la Gonave off Port au Prince from 1925 to 1929.

Born in Pittston, the son of a Polish-American mine worker, Wirkus was destined for the life of a coal miner, but he ran away at 18 and joined the marines. In 1925, when a gunnery sergeant, he was appointed Marine administrator of La Gonave to halt internal disputes among the 12,000 natives on the small island.

La Gonave had had a king named Faustin. When Faustin Wirkus arrived the natives knelt before him and buxom Queen Ti Meminne pronounced him the reincarnation of the late ruler, Wirkus became king and wore a two-foot crown. He was admitted to voodoo rituals and acquired a deeper knowledge of black magic than any other white man of his time.

Wirkus gained wide publicity when the late William Seabrook, novelist, visited La Gonave and wrote a book "The Magic Isle." However, officials of Haiti, which claimed jurisdiction over La Gonave became jealous and forced Wirkus to abdicate in 1929. He was discharged from the Marine Corps the same year.

Later he wrote a book with Taney Dudley, "The White King of La Gonave," lectured and became a bond broker in New York. In 1937 he married an Atlanta girl, who with their 7-year old son survives.

Wirkus returned to the Marine Corps in 1939 as a recruiting specialist and last year was appointed instructor in aviation gunnery at the Chapel Hill, NC, Marine station.
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Futher Reading

Gravesite Details

WARR OFF US MARINE CORPS



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