From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Conklin '49

Date of birth: December 16, 1926

Date of death: August 12, 1951

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1949 Lucky Bag:


From Kodiak Alaska Military History:

1951 AUG 12 Aircraft PB4Y-2 Privateer BuNo 66298 Squadron VP-9 Wing CFAW-4 from NAS Kodiak crashed on Amak Island, 20 miles NW of Cold Bay. Action: Killed: Lt Roy Edwin Park, 31, Columbus, Ohio, pilot; LtJg Robert Wilfred Conklin, 24, South Great Falls, Mont., co-pilot; ENS Henry Howard Wood, 21, Denver, Colo., navigator; Joseph Dale Witherspoon AN, 22, Fordtown, Tenn.; William Stuart Wagner AN, 21, San Francisco, Calif.; Bobby Enloe AN, 21, Houston, Texas; Elnord Ellis Flinkfelt AN, 20, Pawtucket, R.I.; Leonard Walter Sexton AD1, 30, San Jose, Calif.; Edwin Francis Busby, Jr. AT3, 22, Lowell, Mass.; Ronald Lee Hunt AM3, 21, Black Butte, Ore.; Brooks Alton Williams AT1, 30, Chicago, Ill.; Charles Wyalis Elkins AO3, 28, N.W. Linton, Ind. [information also from The Kodiak Bear August 17, 1951. Wreckage sighted 15 August by navy PBY, pilot Lt A.M. Zakarian. 900 foot mountainside. USS Tillimook sent to investigate.]

Aviation Archaeology has further details. VP-9 has much the same information as above.


From researcher Kathy Franz:

Robert graduated in 1944 from Wenatchee, Washington, High School where he was on the “A” Squad for football and basketball, President of the Derby Club, President of the Junior Class, and Senior Class Representative to the Executive Board. The Derby Club put on the Sweetheart Dance. He then attended Washington State college and the Naval Academy. In March 1949 as a member of the academy’s musical club, he appeared on a special television program presented recently by the academy.

He received his pilot’s wings at the naval aviation school at Pensacola and went for advanced training in multi-engine aircraft at Corpus Christi.

Survived by his parents Russell and Dorothy Conklin of Great Falls, his grandmother Frances, wife Bette, daughter Gail. His brothers were Richard, Billy, and Russell. He was buried in the family plot at Highland Cemetery.

He is buried in Montana.

Class of 1949

Robert is one of 40 members of the Class of 1949 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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