To Whom It May Concern;E-Mail Linda
I am trying to identify a Soldier in the Army in WWII. He passed through the Army Base in India) in the 1940's, somewhere between 42-45, India. (His picture is attached)
My late Father in law, Layton H. Wicksten was a Cpl. in the Army stationed
in India at the base called "The Depot" or "Bengal Air Depot" in the CBI Theater, under the command of Col. Frank Hackett. (In or near Agra, India) Dad was an artist and did a lot of the artwork for the newspapers "The Tiger Rag" and "The Depot". (As well as painting "Mascots" on the pilots planes) He featured a drawing of different soldiers from the Base on the back of most papers (Tiger Rag) as well as civilian personnel. He also did a beautiful painting of Col. Frank Hackett that the Base presented to him at a party I can't recall if it was a birthday, retirement, transfer or what.
One day Dad saw a soldier sitting at the airstrip waiting for his plane (he was not stationed there, he was on his way to where ever he was stationed) and did a drawing of him but he never found out who he was. I have been trying, with no luck, to find out who this soldier is. Could you put his picture in your newsletter or publications or Reader board in your convention lobby with the caption "Do you know this soldier?" Perhaps he or his family, widow, children, or someone who knows him will see it and contact you. I know I'm asking a lot, but I think it's a worthwhile endeavor and I hope you will too. Especially with what is going on right now, it would be nice to give this soldier's family a small part of him back. I even gave a copy of the drawing to the Eisenhower Museum in KS; along with Dad's entire collection of pictures, drawings, newspapers and everything else he collected while he was in India, when he passed away four years ago. They said it was the single largest WWII collection they had ever received. (The Naval Museum on Treasure Island, CA said the same thing when I donated my entire late Mother in law's Navy possessions, including many telegrams and Naval stories, pictures etc. She was a WAVE stationed there in WWII. After her discharge from the Navy she went to work for Fireman's Fund Ins. and she wrote the insurance policy for The Golden Gate Bridge)
This soldier could still be alive, but if not I would like to give the drawing to his family, it is very very good, Dad was a phenomenal artist. I am sending you a copy of the drawing (you'll be amazed) if you would please help me try to identify him it would be great. I know someone would recognize him if I could just get his picture to the public. If you have any suggestions of where else I could send this for help please let me know. Thank you for your time & help, Linda Wicksten Sparks/Reno, Nevada firstname.lastname@example.org (that's LL13)
For what it's worth; I am the widow of a pilot. Dad's son and my husband, Gordon Wicksten, was a pilot who was killed 24 years ago. He was the Co-pilot for Desert Research Inst. of the University of Reno, Nevada Weather Dept. It was a modified B-26, on the morning of 3-2-1980 the scientists decided to fly, it was snowing and they had data to collect. The plane developed sever icing and to make a long story short, it crashed in the Sierra Mountains. All 4 men were killed, the Pilot, Gordon and the 2 Scientists. Gordon had turned 29 two weeks before on Valentines Day. He had over 8000 hours in the air and held every license to fly every thing that flew there was, including one to fly 4 feet off the ground upside down, which is how he closed his Air Show performances by cutting a ribbon across the runway with the prop of his Great Lakes Bi-plane "Baby" When he got his license at 17 he was the youngest licensed pilot in the world.
Here are 2 stories on the subject that appeared in the Reno, NV newspaper:
Story #1 May 2002
Story #2 Jan. 2003 With interview & support from Major Jim Grimshaw USArmy Rangers
So, will you help me? Thank you very much for your time and help. I hope to hear from you soon. Stay safe always, and as Gordon always said.