After I shared the news — at Honey and Quinine and my AeroKnow Museum blog — of my interest in learning about John Thornton Walker, Richard and Connie Strouse, key contributors to what I shared about him in my book Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing wrote me to correct some information.
Richard and Connie will visit Springfield to deliver and donate to AeroKnow Museum a 63 lb brass plaque displayed for decades at Fort Monroe, Virginia. It was presented by General Mark Clark and dedicated to John Thornton Walker when Walker Army Airstrip was dedicated after World War II. General Mark Clark, who was a frequent passenger flown by Walker during the Allied campaign in Italy presented the plaque at the dedication.
Walker’s wife Geraldine (Gerri) was from Indiana and lived in Springfield during the time she was married to John. They had one child, Connie, and following John’s death in Italy, Gerri returned to her home state with Connie. Walker is buried at a cemetery in Washington, Indiana.
I am writing a book, probably about 100 pages long, that will share the story of John Thornton Walker. Needed for this book are photos, memories of him during his life in Springfield, in the Illinois Army National Guard and his regular Army service. I intend to have all but the final chapter written, at least in a draft, when Richard and Connie come from their home in Delaware to Springfield later this year to see John’s city almost 70 years after Walker said goodbye, never to return. The final chapter will be about the Strouse’s’ visit to John’s home town.
If I can find a publisher for the book, it will be available from the publisher. If I cannot find a publisher, I will publish it under auspices of AeroKnow Museum, the first of what I hope with be a series of books and/or pamphlets about important Springfield area aviation people.