Friday, June 19, 2015

On This Day - June 19, 1955

On This Day, 60 years ago, my parents Don Francis Smith and Jerry Lynn Wickenkamp were married at the Methodist  Church in Valley, Stevens county, Washington.

Pink and white spring flowers with candelabra decorated the Valley Methodist church for the Sunday afternoon wedding of Miss Jerry Lynn Wickenkamp and Don F. smith.  The Rev. Ronald K. Johnson officiated at the double ring ceremony.  The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Wickenkamp, of Valley.  The bridegroom's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank P. Smith, of Jump Off. Given in marriage by her father, the bride was lovely in her chapel length, white taffeta gown covered with nylon net and a chantilly lace fitted bodice which had a stand-up collar.  A cap of lace and Lillies-of-the-Valley held the finger-tip illusion veil.  She carried a white orchid on a white Bible which was a gift from the bridegroom. The gown was designed and made by Mrs. John Seubert.
Attendants:  Miss Carol Elliott, of Edwall, classmate of the bride, was maid of honor.  She wore a light green nylon gown, made with fitted bodice and portrait neckline, and matching Juliet cap.  she carried a Crescent bouquet of delicate pink daisies.  Douglas Smith, brother of the groom, was best man.  Nick Skok, of Jump Off, and Harold (Bud) Lucht, of Reardon, ushered.  Miss Shirley Roloff was accompanist for George Welte who sang "Through the Years" and "Because".  The mother of the bride wore a nylon print dress with pink accessories and a corsage of pink rosebuds and Lily-of-the Valley.  Mrs. Smith, mother of the groom, wore pale blue nylon with white accessories and a pink rosebud and Lily-of-the-Valley corsage.
Reception: Mrs. Vern Claflin was in charge of the reception for 150 guests.  Mrs. Esther Higgins and Mrs. H. L. Fisk had decorated the church and reception room.  Mrs. Charles Koch, aunt of the bride, served the wedding cake; assisted by Miss Carol Hoffman;  Miss Donna Robertson served the punch; Miss Betty Koch, cousin of the bride, was in charge of the guest book.
When the newlyweds left for a honeymoon at Lake Louise and Banff, the bride wore a pink and blue check orlon suit with pink accessories.  They will be at home to their friends at E 1644 Longfellow, Spokane.  The bride  is  a graduate of Eastern Washington College of Education in Cheney.  She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Key, Golden Circle. Tawanka and Who's Who in American Colleges.  She will teach in Spokane this fall.  Mrs. Smith is employed at the Otis Elevator Company in Spokane.  He served 15 months with the Armed Services in Korea.
Wedding Guests:  Out-of-town guests at the wedding were Betty Shane, of Lincoln, Calif., Mrs. R. D, Newton, of Cheney; Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Robertson , of St. John, Wash.,; Mr. and Mrs. J Logan and Michael and Al Shane, of Lincoln, Calif.,; Virginia and Pricilla Proxel, Opportunity; Mr. and Mrs. R. Anderson, Davenport; Gail Hayden, Spokane; Mr. and Mrs. George L. Kerkow, Winona, Minn.; Edward Proxel, Spokane; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Lucht, Espanola;  Mr. and Mrs. George Elliott and Ed Wollweber, Edwall; Mr. and Mrs. C. Murray, Gilbert Pryor, Joyce and Ricky Ayers, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Bixby, Bruce Hayden, Lucille Hayden, Lynn Hayden, J. R. Ellis and Ron Hayden. from Spokane;  Mr. and Mrs. Phil Skok and son, Mr. and Mrs. Win Cook, Mrs. Kenneth Kester, Mrs. Viola Marshall, Donna and Judy Cook, Mrs. Robert Reichenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Reichenberg and Mrs. Ronald Johnson, of Chewelah; Pat Anderson, Tacoma. 
Today June 19, 2015 would have been they 60th Wedding Anniversary, I wish they were still here so I could celebrate this milestone with them as we did for their 50th. 

Happy Anniversay mom and dad, I love you and miss you. You always with me as I wear your rings around my neck.

Monday, June 8, 2015

World War II Letters Homes June 2, 1940 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                              Royal Air Force Station
                                                                                              King's Lynn, Norfolk
                                                                                              June 2, 1940

Dear Mr. Wickenkamp:

I am afraid your son's award of the O.B.E. for gallantry will be somewhat 'bittersweet' news to you, but I am glad that His Majesty has been pleased to approve of the award of this medal as a recognition of a very gallant act on the part of your son.  My only regret is that it came through after his decease.  you have every reason to be proud of him, this act in deliberately risking his life to save his companions is in keeping with the highest principles of civilized manhood.

The poor little widow of his 2nd pilot is staying with us now - Mrs. Wardlaw.  She is trying to start life anew in our Women's Auxiliary Air Force, but the sorrow of her loss lies heavily upon her.

The spirit of these lads, of whom your son was one, is just beyond praise and in my Officers' Mess here.  I have some of the 'salt of the earth'.  Our empire may thank God for every one such.

                                                                                             Yours Very Sincerely,

                                                                                             Group Captain

(This is the last letter in the collection. I have enjoyed sharing them with you. I just wish that they ended happier. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. I hope you enjoyed them.).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

World War II Letters Home May 2, 1940 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                         8 Milton Avenue
                                                                                         King's Lynn
                                                                                         May 2, 1940

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Wickenkamp:

After all this time, just a mater of about 2 years I come about to writing to you.  I am, as you might imagine, completely at a loss as to what I have to tell you and the shock of late events leaves me feeling heavy of heart and mind.

I don't know quite what you would learn from official reports but I think you would like to know just what did happen and where it happened.  First, I'd like to tell you that this last action in which I saw Wick went to prove the gallant airman he was and his thoughts were for others even in such a time when so much was at stake for himself.

On Sunday afternoon,  April 7th, we were out patrolling the Danish Coast,  I suppose looking for German troop ships which were at that time transporting men and munitions for their entry into Denmark and Norway. About 10 miles west of the Danish Coast and the Skaggerack we encountered enemy fighters - German 110's, what they call the "destroyer".  At that time we were in 2 sections of Vic formation, flying as a flight - that is a Vic is 3 aircraft in that formation shaped as a V and there are 3 aircraft in a section, and 6 in a flight.  Wick and I flew in the same flight and even the same section after we were split up.  These 2 Vic sections were flying, one slightly higher and ahead of the other,  just a matter of 6 feet lower and the nose of the following aircraft just under the leader's tail.  Wick was flying in what we call 'No. 3' position and I was in No. 1. as I am now the Squadron Leaders 2nd pilot.  During the attacks we were all pretty badly shot up, unfortunately because the enemy aircraft carried cannons and machine guns against our machine guns and stayed mostly out of range but they still got a good peppering and one was set afire.

The petrol tanks in Wick's wings were badly punctured and the flames from the engine exhaust set them alight and he broke formation, but as the fabric of his right hand wing had been badly burnt he could only turn toward us, and if he'd done that and gone under us he'd have run into fellows following us on our underside.  His machine was badly damaged and still afire and there was little or no control in it and he couldn't help but swerve under us, and so in doing so he made use of his only controlling surface left and brought his craft around sharply in an effort t avoid colliding with the following aircraft and he succeeded but he missed them by such a small margin that some of their surfaces were charred by the spraying petrol.

A gallant deed by a man who was liked by all in our Squadron and one who is missed by us all and especially me as we've been together such a long time and done everything together.  There is one ray of hope, and I don't want to lay this falsely but the pilot who was with Wick at the time, they believe was picked up and taken prisoner.  At least, the Germans have since issued a statement that Pilot Officer Wardaw had been picked up.  There is no P.O. Wardaw in the service and only one P/O Wardlaw and he was with Wick.  These names of prisoners don't come through easily and so Wick just might be safe in Germany now.

I suppose you already know that Wick was commended for his bravery in his actions during that crash he was in at Marham during night flying, by the Air Officer commanding the R.A.F.  I have forgotten his name but I suppose you already know about that anyway.

I am addressing this to you, Mr.  Wickenkamp, because I fell I'd rather have you read it first and if you consider that it is alright for Mrs. Wickenkamp to read it as she might like to know first hand details, then I'll feel I've at least done one service for a fellow who was a real friend and pal of mine.

I must close now but not without first hoping everything goes well with you at home.  As Mrs. Wickenkamp has said in one of here letters to me -- this is from your other boy in the R.A.F. and I do hope to hear from you any time and I remain.

Yours Sincerely,

Doug W. Morris