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Sergeant Robert W. Walker
U. S. Army Air Forces
Ser. # 6299514

November 16, 1918 - February 26, 1942

Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Blanche Mabel Crossman Walker



Sergeant Robert "Bob" William Walker [November 16, 1918 - February 26, 1942] was born to William Walker, Jr. [November 27, 1887 - January 24, 1966] and Blanche Mabel (Crossman) Walker [September 10, 1885 - September 11, 1969] in Oakland, Alameda County, California. His family came to Bay City in 1920 to visit with Grandfather and Grandmother William and Alcestra Kary Walker, owners of the Walker Furniture and Undertaking Company. The family then returned to California where his father owned an elevator business. After his Grandmother Kary died, the family again returned to Bay City, around 1937, to help run the furniture business.  On October 16, 1938, Bob joined the first Presbyterian Church and in 1939 volunteered for the US Army Air Corps.  Meeting Miss Vera Gertrude Ryman of Wadsworth, they courted and then were married in El Campo in 1940.  After their marriage Gertrude also joined the Presbyterian Church in 1940.  On August 16, 1941 they shared in the joy of the birth of their daughter, Carol Ann.  Bob was assigned to the Air Corps Basic Flying School, an air base near Enid, Oklahoma, which today is called Vance Air Force Base.  On the night of February 26, 1942 he was accidentally killed when the bus, on which he was a passenger, was struck by a Rock Island freight train during a blinding snowstorm while en-route back to the base.  Gertrude had his remains returned to Bay City and after a funeral service at the Presbyterian Church, interred at
Cedarvale Cemetery.  Survivors included Gertrude (who later married Judge G. P. Hardy, Jr.) baby daughter Carol Ann, who on August 29, 1964 married Earl Martin Huitt, Jr., parents and sister, Mrs. Lucille Krecek.  At the time of his death the family was living in Bay City except for sister Lucille, who was living in Oakland, California, his mother and father were later buried near him.

Gertrude Ryman Walker Hardy

Robert Walker Accepted In U.S. Air Corps
Colonel Koch, Commanding Officer Visits In City


Robert W. Walker of Bay City, was accepted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Kelly Field, Sergeant Vincent L. Curl said.  Walker left for San Antonio December 1.


Sergeant Curl said that Walker would attempt to get in the same squadron as Charles Ducros and Jasper Sansing.


A large number of men from Boling, Wharton and New Gulf are enlisting in the coast artillery unassigned, Sergeant Curl pointed out.  Those shifted to Fort Crockett have profited by the rebuilding of the post.


For example, Charles Hurta of Palacios, who entered the Army four weeks ago, has already received a fifth rating.  This proves, said Sergeant Curl, that in the expansion of the Army more men are able to get more ratings.


Sergeant Curl stated his commanding officer, Colonel Koch of Houston will visit in Bay City this afternoon.

The Daily Tribune,  Wednesday, December 6, 1939



Sgt. Bob Walker Of Flying Corp Is Killed Early Today

      Sgt. R. W. (Bob) Walker, 23, of Bay City was killed early today near Enid Oklahoma in a bus-train collision that occurred during a blinding snow storm. Walker was riding in a bus with other soldiers when the accident occurred that resulted in the death of six persons and the serious injury of two more.

      Walker is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker, 2108 Ave. L, of Bay City. He has been in the service for the past three years, being attached to the flying corps and was stationed at Enid at the time of his death.

      A United Press dispatch to the Tribune this morning stated that six enlisted men were killed early today and 26 were injured when a bus en route to the army flying school near Enid was struck by a Rock Island freight train during a snow storm. Two of the injured were not expected to live.

      Walker was reared in California and went to school there. He came to Bay City with his parents in 1937 and was married here to Miss Gertrude Ryman of Wadsworth, who, with their daughter, Carol Ann, survive him. Mrs. Walker is an employee of the W. T. Cox insurance and real estate company here in Bay City.

      No definite plans for the funeral have yet been made, but it was announced today that the body would be shipped to Bay City and funeral services and burial will be held here. The body will be shipped to the Walker-Matchett Funeral Home.

Matagorda County Tribune, February 26, 1942

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby


Rites To Be At Presbyterian Church Burial at Cedarvale

The body of Sgt. Bob Walker, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker of Bay City, who was killed early yesterday morning in a bus-train collision hear Enid, Oklahoma, will arrive in Bay City at noon tomorrow.

Walker was killed when the bus in which he was riding was struck by a freight train in a blinding snow storm. Five others besides Walker were killed and 26 were injured.

Funeral services will be held from the First Presbyterian Church Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock and burial will be held in the Cedarvale Cemetery with the Walker-Matchett Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

Surviving Walker are his wife and baby daughter, Carol Ann, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. William Walker, and one sister, Mrs. Lucille Krecek, of Oakland, California.

Matagorda County Tribune, February 27, 1942


Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City for Sergeant Bob Walker, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Walker, who was killed last Thursday with six other enlisted in the Army Air Corps when a Rock Island freight train crashed into a bus during a blinding snow storm near Enid, Oklahoma.

Walker was 23 years old. Twenty-five men were injured.

Following is an associated Press account of the crash: Driver of the bus, which operates between the air base and the city of Enid, a distance of about four miles, was Wendell Thomas Smith, 28, of Enid, a civilian.

Hospital attendants said he would recover from his injuries.

Smith gave the following account of the crash: "I had shifted into third gear and was slowing down to stop at the crossing but the road was so slick from snow I couldn't stop.

"When I saw the lights of the train bearing down through the snow I speeded up in an attempt to cross but I didn't quite make it. The train hit the back of the bus and turned it around.

"If I hadn't speeded up I would have landed right in the middle of the track.

Captain Hammond said he understood Smith attempted to stop at the crossing.

The soldiers, all on leave, were returning to their base at 12:15 a.m., when the crash occurred.

Maj. W. A. Stephens, post adjutant, said the bus carried between 35 and 40 men. There were no pilots aboard. He said there were no witnesses to the crash other than the bus occupants and the train crew.

Burial for Walker was in the Cedarvale Cemetery with Walker-Matchett in charge.

Surviving Walker are his wife and baby daughter, Carol Ann; his father and mother; one sister, Mrs. Lucille Krecek of Oakland, Calif.

Matagorda County Tribune, March 5, 1942

First Presbyterian Church
Bay City, Texas
Vermont Red Marble Memorial
Baptismal Font
Donated by the families of Captain Philip Parker,
Private Jack White, Sergeant Robert Walker and
MOMM1c Paul Lamb.
Accepted by the church on December 18, 1945



Captain Philip H. Parker

Pvt. Jack W. White

Sgt. Robert W. Walker

Joseph Paul Lamb MOMM 1/c

On this Memorial Day we want to pay tribute to our beloved dead, our sons, who sleep in peace under the quiet sod or beneath the murmuring waves.


They are not dead; having died for freedom of mankind and with the love of God in their hearts, have found a new life. They are soldiers risen to the highest level, and they can become a living part of you and me--today, tomorrow, and forever.


In the destinies of men and in the glorious history of our nation their souls go marching on.

Because of them our lives will ever be free.


Because of them our great country will forever live, the exemplification of justice to all people under a real democracy.


Let us parents seek surcease of grief in this promise:


"Behind the dim unknown,
Standest God within the shadow,
Keeping watch over his own."


The Daily Tribune, Thursday, May 30, 1946



WALKER, Mrs. Blanche, 84, a resident of Haywood [Hayward], Calif., died on Sept. 9. Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City with the Rev. Bill O'Neil officiating. Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery. She is the former wife of the late William Walker of Bay City. Survivors are daughter, Mrs. Lucille Krecek of Haywood, Calif., a sister, Mrs. Medal Richards of Stockton, Calif., two granddaughters, Mrs. Carol Ann Huitt of Bay City and Mrs. Linda Tuite of Neward, Calif; one grandson, George Krecek of Haywood, Calif. Mrs. Walker was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City and Fair Oaks Rebekah Lodge in Almeda, Calif. Taylor Brothers Funeral Home directing.

The Daily Tribune, September 12, 1969

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby

Walker Rites Set Wednesday

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church for William Walker, 78, a resident of Bay City for the past thirty years.

Walker served for many years as fire marshal for the local fire department and was a member of the Order of Oddfellows.

Dr. A. T. Dyal, minister of the First Presbyterian Church will officiate at service. Interment will follow in Cedarvale Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Blanche M. Walker and one daughter, Mrs. Lucille Krecek, of Hawyard?, California; three sisters, Mrs. G. C. Ryman of Matagorda, Mrs. Fred Gillett of Bossier City, Louisiana, and Mrs. Mildred Carr of Houston; three grandchildren, Mrs. E. M. Huitt, Jr., of Bay City, Mrs. James Tuite of Newark, California, and George W. Krecek, of San Leandro, California.

Pallbearers are James Kershaw, J. D. Tabb, E. S. Graham, H. A. Norcross, P. J. Kinard and B. F. Schulz.

All members of the First Department will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Arrangements will be handled by Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.

The Daily Tribune, Jan. 25, 1966

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby

Walker Family Page

High School picture of Gertrude Ryman courtesy of Matagorda County Museum.


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 30, 2006
Feb. 4, 2008