Muscatine County

Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke



Raymond Gatzke Awarded Wings

Raymond C. Gatzke, son of Mrs. Albert Kelley of Wilton has completed his training as pilot and received his wings and commission as second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Air Corps, at Williams Field, Chandler, Ariz., last Sunday.

Lieut. Gatzke enlisted in the service Oct. 15, 1942, at Los Angeles, Calif., and took his training at Merced, Santa Ana and Twenty Nine Palms, Calif., before being sent to Arizona.

He was graduated from the Wilton high school in the Class of 1939, attended Muscatine Junior College and was employed by Lockhead Aircraft Co. of Burbank, Calif., for nearly two years before entering the service.

Lieut Gatzke has been sent to Victorville, Calif., for a five weeks special course in a P-39 Transition school before coming home on furlough.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, March 21, 1944 (photo included)

Wilton Groups Arrange Tribute for Lt. Gatzke

Wilton—Patriotic organizations of the community are planning to pay tribute to Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke, killed in an airplane crash at Ephrata Army Air Base, Ephrata, Wash., on Tuesday, when funeral rites are conducted at the Griffith Funeral Home. Time of the services remained indefinite while the family awaited further word from the War Department, at Washington, D.C.

Lt. Gatzke, who enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October, 1942, was the son of Mrs. Albert Kelley, of Wilton.

Arranging to participate in the rites are members of the Women’s Relief Corps, the American Legion post, and the American Legion Auxiliary and the United Service Women of America.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 13, 1944 (Pilot photo included)


Wilton—The body of Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke, army air pilot, who was killed in an accident last Tuesday as the Ephrata Air Field, Ephrata, Wash., arrived in Wilton at midnight Sunday and was taken to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert B. Kelley.

The body will be removed to the Griffith Funeral Home Wednesday morning and military rites will be held there at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Rev. J. M. Newgard of the Grace Evangelical and Reformed Church will conduct the service with the military rites in charge of Wilton Post No. 584, American Legion. Members of all patriotic organizations will attend the service in a body.

Interment will be made in Oakdale cemetery.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Monday, July 17, 1944

Military Rites Held at Wilton for Lt. Gatzke

Wilton—Military funeral rites for Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke, army air pilot who was killed in a plane crash July 11 at the Ephrata Air Field, Ephrata, Wash., were held at the Griffith Funeral Home Wednesday afternoon. The Rev. J. M. Newgard, chaplain of Wilton post No. 584, American Legion, officiated and paid fitting tribute to the 22-year-old pilot. A quartet composed of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Barclay, Mrs. Ellsworth Cole and Clarence Lenker sang “Jesus Savior Pilot Me” and “Just As I Am.” Miss Mildred Grace Lenker was the organ accompanist.

The American Legion post was in charge of the services at Oakdale cemetery where burial was made. The salute was given by the Legion firing squad and taps were sounded by Kenneth Grunder and Corwin Norton. Miss Frances Kelley sang a solo. Pallbearers were Harold Scott, Robert Mann, Robert Thomas, Leo Friedli, William Hendriks, and Richard Fulton. Flower attendants were Mrs. Richard Fulton, Mrs. William Hendriks, Miss Emily Wacker.

All business houses were closed during the hour of service and members of American Legion post No. 584, American Legion auxiliary, Woman’s Relief Corps and United Service Women of America attended in a body.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 20, 1944

Lieut. Charles A. Graver returned to Ephrata, Wash., after accompanying home the body of his pal and buddy, Lieutenant Raymond C. Gatzke, who was killed in a plane crash, July 11.

Out of town relatives who attended the funeral of Lieut. Raymond C. Gatzke Wednesday were Corporal Laurence D. Gatzke, Jackonsville, Fla.; Mr. and Mrs. Herschel Schmidt, Milan, Ill.; Mrs. Laura Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Parchert, Claire Parchert, August Wilkins, Taylor Ridge, Ill.; Mrs. Emma Gatzke, Miss Pauline Werth, Paul Gatzke, Fred Gatzke, Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Spilger and family, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Passmore and family, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Phillips and family, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne White, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Freyermuth, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Klein, Mr. and Mrs. George Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Schmidt and Donald Jr., Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Schmidt and family, Mrs. Laura Schmidt, Mrs. Martha Frenzel, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Schmidt, Atalissa; Mr. and Mrs. George Lincoln and Bobby, Moscow.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 21, 1944

WE WISH to take this means to express our thanks and deep appreciation to all our friends and neighbors who sent cards and flowers or expressed their sympathy in any other manner. We also wish to thank Rev. J. Newgard, the singers, flower girls, pallbearers, those who loaned their cars and others who assisted us in any other way, in the recent bereavement of our son and brother, Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke. ~Dr. and Mrs. Albert Kelley, Cpl. Laurence D. Gatzke.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 24, 1944


—An airplane crash at the Ephrata army air base in Washington caused the death of Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke, of Wilton, on July 11, 1944, according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Albert B. Kelley. He enlisted in the army air corps in October of 1942 and received his training at Los Angeles and at Williams Field, Chandler, Ariz.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 29, 1944

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded

The names of those who have made the supreme sacrifice in World War No. 2, compiled from records maintained by The Journal, follow:

Lt. Raymond C. Gatzke, son of Mrs. Albert B. Kelley of Wilton, killed July of 1944 in airplane crash at the Ephrata Army Air Base, Ephrata, Wash.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945