WILBUR R. SPRADLING, JR., 1LT, USAF
Wilbur Spradling, Jr. '50
Date of birth: February 1, 1927
Date of death: July 22, 1952
From the 1950 Lucky Bag:
From Find A Grave:
Wilbur was living in Weatherford, OK when he entered the service. He was in the USNA Class of 1950 and was the pilot of a F-80C Shooting Star fighter interceptor with the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Group.
On July 22, 1952, while on a combat mission and during a dive bombing run, his aircraft received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire, crashed and exploded. His remains were never recovered.
His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
He was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
From researcher Kathy Franz:
Wilbur had enlisted in the Army on June 22, 1945, at Camp Chaffee, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
His mother Helen was notified in August 1953 that there was no hope of finding him. He had completed more than 70 missions before his plane was lost.
He was survived by a brother Edward and sister Martha. His father, a salesman for automotive equipment, died in April 1950.
James Bowers '50, Hamilton McDowell, Jr. '50, James Wills, Jr. '50, Edward Hotz, Jr. '50, Cedric Peterson, Jr. '50, Lorenzo Daleo '50, George Duncan, Jr. '50, and Christopher Braybrooke '50 were also graduated from pilot training class 51-E, Williams AFB, Arizona, on August 4, 1951. (Sixty-seven Naval Academy graduates completed this class.)