VIRGIL W. LUSK, CAPT, USA

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: September 6, 1916
Date of death: March 9, 1943
Age: 26

Lucky Bag

Virgil Witt Lusk is listed on the page titled “And Some We Knew.”

Loss

From Find A Grave:

Capt. Lusk, son of Mrs. Georgia Lusk, Superintendent of Public Instruction for New Mexico, was a member of a prominent pioneer family of eastern New Mexico. He returned last month from duty in the African war theatre where he had distinguished himself as a flyer. In two and a half months of aerial combat Captain Lusk was credited with shooting down five enemy planes and probably destroying six more. He was decorated eight times, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, The Air Medal, and six Oak Leaf clusters.

Captain Lusk was killed in San Diego when two P-38 interceptor planes crashed in mid-air. Last month he visited Carlsbad relatives, Mrs. R. A. Wilcox, Assistant County Clerk, an aunt, and two uncles living here, Joe and John Lusk. Other relatives prominent in this section are Captain Aud Lusk, stationed at Long Beach, California, Bill Lusk, Lovington, his grandmother, Mrs. G. W. Witt, Lovington, an aunt, Mrs. Harry Wright of Sunrise, Wyoming, an uncle Charles G. Witt, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Captain Lusk is survived by his widow, the former Virginia Flippen of Laguna Beach, Calif. He has two brothers, Captain Dolph Lusk, Captain in the cavalry at Fort Bliss, and Cadet Eugene Lusk, bombardier student at San Angelo, Texas.

Captain Lusk's remains were cremated at San Diego, Calif., following the fatal accident. The ashes will be flown to Albuquerque tonight (Friday) and will be taken to Santa Fe where they will lie in state in either the Supreme Court building or the State Capitol building. They will be removed to Santa Rosa, New Mexico late Saturday where memorial services will be held Sunday morning at 9 o'clock. They will then be moved directly to Carlsbad cemetery for committal services in the Lusk family plot.

The heroic ace's untimely death occasioned great mourning in Carlsbad, where he was well known and admired by countless persons. Only 26 years of age, he returned to New Mexico on February 13, from active duty, prior to assignment with the air forces at San Francisco. In Albuquerque he was met by his mother and his bride, where a family reunion was held.

The army reported Lusk's ship and another flown by Capt. Mark J. Mourne apparently locked wings and crashed.

Capt. Mourne, also an overseas veteran, parachuted safely, receiving only minor injuries, and landed on an airfield. Capt. Lusk came down in the bay. His body was recovered.

Both planes burned.

Capt. Lusk was a gradute of Santa Fe High School and of the New Mexico Military Institute. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy. He trained for the air forces at Luke Field, Ariz., and March and Hamilton Fields, California. He was born at Lovington, N.M. Eddy County News, Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico dated for Friday, March 12, 1943, front page and page 5

Wartime Service

Virgil had five confirmed aerial kills in combat over Northern Africa while a member of the 49th Fighter Squadron.

Memorial Hall Error

Virgil was a member of the Army Air Forces, not the Army. His service should be listed as USAAF, not USA.


Class Navigation

Class of 1940
Virgil is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
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