Wanted: Dead airman’s kin and a lost karaoke outfit

Jan 26 2012 - 12:53am

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I like tossing impossible problems out to see how quickly you guys solve them. Sink your teeth into these:

* Looking for a dead airman's family: If anyone is a relative of, or knows a relative of, SSgt. Clarence E. Walker, U.S. Army Air Corps, killed in action over France on June 7, 1944, please call.

This is important. Wonderful people in France are building a monument to Walker. They would like his relatives to come for the dedication June 10.

Robert Stuard, president of the Lacey-Davis Foundation in Azusa, Calif., is looking for those relatives. Stuard said people in France are immensely grateful to the Americans who died liberating them from Germany.

Walker joined the Army in Maine, but Stuard said a very distant cousin of Walker's back East told him the family is from the Ogden area.

Walker was the upper turret gunner in a B-24 in the 839th Squadron of the 487th Combat Group Heavy, 8th Air Force. His plane was the Box Car. Second Lt. Floyd Schwab was the pilot. Walker's serial number was 31283578.

The crew was on a mission to Angers, France, when the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near Bruz. Walker and two others died.

Walker is buried in the American cemetery in Bruz, which is where the monument to him and his crew mates will be.

Can't afford the trip? Scared of France? The Lacey-Davis Foundation wants to help.

"What we do is we take them all the way over, helping them get plane tickets. Our French contacts provide interpreters. We arrange for someone to meet the airplane when they get to France."

So if you know anyone related to Walker, call Stuard at 626-815-1426, or call me and I'll help get you in touch.

Stuard said the French "don't ask for any money; all they ask is for the person to show up."

Americans may have cooled on the French in recent years over foreign policy differences, but the French still love Americans.

"When you look at some of these monuments, you will be totally blessed by the love of the French people and their gratitude to the men who gave their lives for them," Stuard said.

You can see those monuments at his website: http://www.lacey-davisfoundation.org.

* The day the music died:

One problem: It was stolen four years ago.

Baker-Merrill Post 9 used to be in an old church west of Washington Boulevard on 31st Street. The post had to give up the building in 2008 and didn't have a new place, so they held an auction.

Lester's karaoke stuff was in the building but labeled not for sale. It was a confusing day, though, and the karaoke outfit disappeared.

Baker-Merrill Post 9 has a new home at 845 W. 24th St., Ogden. They're hoping to open a bar to help make money, but where's the karaoke outfit?

Les said he lost a karaoke machine and about 100 CDs. "I would guess I paid close to $1,000 total for the albums -- they're original artists."

The stuff can be returned on a "no questions asked" basis.

"In fact, I'll give them $100, $150, no questions asked, because we need it," he said. "We're now in a new location, and we'd like to continue using those."

Call Les at 801-479-5073. If you would rather not do that, put my name on it and drop the stuff off at the Standard-Examiner. I'll make sure Les gets it.

Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can call him at 801-625-4232 or email ctrentelman@standard.net. He also blogs at www.standard.net.

Lester Bryan, a member of American Legion Baker-Merrill Post 9, wants his karaoke stuff back because it was stolen and the post needs it to make money.

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