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39th Bomb Group (VH)
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Gunner's Badge
Pilot's
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Decorations
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Unit Citation
and Awards


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with
Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards

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with

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F/O Richard F. Wilcox, Sr.
Pilot

Richard Frank Wilcox Sr. (Dick) was born in Ohio on June 3, 1918.

He enlisted Air Corps 12 June 1942; at the time of his enlistment he was married and had a child on the way. By August 1943 they had two children, a son, Richard, Jr. and a daughter Patsy.

While away at war Dick’s wife abandon the children. It is said that she placed them in an orphanage and that he had to return to the US and find someone to care for them. As you can image they were quite young children then. Dick found a secretary, Kathryn Sampson, he had known at Lockbourne Army Air Field who offered to care for the children so that he could return to the war. Sometime after the war the two were married and raised the children together.

Upon returning from the war Dick and Katie resided in Ashville, Ohio. They never had any children together, but Katie was certainly “Mom” to Dick’s two children.

Dick worked for or owned a tree trimming, pruning, topping business. Later he went to work for Columbus and Southern Electric Company and retired from there in the late 70’s.

Dick enjoyed gardening (especially working with trees), coin collecting, and he had a large saltwater aquarium he liked to tend to. After retirement, fishing became a winter thing for him. Dick and Katie would go down near Naples, Florida every winter and Dick would fish all day. They continued this until his health did not permit him to go.

Fortunately, Dick lived long enough to know his 7 grandchildren, and got to know and see two of his great-grandchildren, even though they were quite young when he passed away. Here are the grandkids:

Debra Lyn Wilcox – Crouch, of Navarre, Florida
James Richard Wilcox, USAF, TSgt, Langley AFB, VA
Vicky Crumley – Smith, of Canal Winchester, OH
Richard Crumley, last known to be in North Carolina
Ronald Crumley, of Ashville, OH
Christina Cookson, of Ohio
Charles Cookson, of Ashville, OH

All that remains living of Richard F. Wilcox Sr.’s family is grandchildren and great-grandchildren (roughly 10).

F/O Richard Frank Wilcox, Sr. passed away on June 12, 1983 from some form of cancer related to asbestos exposure. He is buried at Reber Hill Cemetery in Ashville, Ohio; As far his wife, Kathryn, and daughter, Patsy. His son, Richard Jr. is buried in Forrest Cemetery in Circleville, OH.
On 2-2-46 Dick wrote Mrs. Helen Davenport, widow of William T, his Right Gunner, with the circumstances and events minutes before they ditched their B-29. Click here to read.
Source: Debra Wilcox Crouch, granddaughter