Cold War: John Wilkes, Jr., United States Air Force, First Lieutenant


John Wilkes, Jr. was on a routine training flight on Oct. 9, 1958 when his jet, an F100-F Super Sabre, crashed in the desert near Phoenix, Arizona. His passing is classified as “Died in Service.”

The Cold War was a decades-long period of political and military tension between former World War II allies, the United States and western countries, against the former Soviet Union and the “Axis Powers.”

Wilkes is the only Clark Fallen Hero whose death is attributed to military activity during the Cold War.

Wilkes, who was just 28 years old at the time of his death, resided at 465 Madison Hill Road in Clark.  He is buried in Arizona alongside an infant son. 


Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.

Find out more about William Duffy:    One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead

The series runs daily through Memorial Day, 2017.  Click for an index of stories. 


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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