WILBUR R. SPRADLING, JR., 1LT, USAF

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: February 1, 1927
Date of death: July 22, 1952
Age: 25

Lucky Bag

1950 Spradling LB.jpg

From the 1950 Lucky Bag:

WILBUR RODNEY SPRADLING, JR.

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Bill came to the Academy from Oklahoma after enlisted duty in not one, but two services. Here he has proved repeatedly during his four-year academic foray, just what hard work can accomplish. A civilian pilot before he entered the Army Air Corps, Bill likes the Navy best when it takes him aloft. The afternoons spent flying from the Air Facility across the Severn were his favorite hours at the Academy. Bill appreciates the finest in music; his record collection kept us all aware of his presence with strains of Beethoven echoing from his room.

Loss

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.

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James Hudson '50 and Lorenzo Daleo '50 were also a member of the 13th Company.

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.)


Class Navigation

Class of 1950
Wilbur is one of 35 members of the Class of 1950 in Memorial Hall.
<< Anthony Butler '50 Thomas Jenike '50 >>