TOMPKINS, Walker Allison

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TOMPKINS, Walker Allison (1909-1988), Santa Barbara historian who spent most of his lifetime writing fiction and Santa Barbara history. He was born in Prosser, Washington. In 1920 his parents took up farming in Turlock where Tompkins began writing for the Turlock newspaper. During the 1930s he worked his way around the world with his typewriter, traveling by steamer to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Dutch East Indies. During World War II he served for three years as an overseas correspondent for the U.A. Army. Following the war, the writer settled in Santa Barbara and turned his attention to local history. He worked for the Santa Barbara News Press from 1957 to 1973. In 1962, he wrote a ham radio novel based on San Miguel Island, DX Brings Danger. Tompkins died at age 79.

In the News~

February 27, 1962 [SBNP]: “DX Brings Danger, a scientific fiction novel by Santa Barbara author, Walker A. Tompkins, is being published this week by Macrae Smith of Philadelphia. The book is laid in Santa Barbara and on San Miguel Island, since the plot involves the search for a treasure-laden Spanish galleon believed to have been sunk off San Miguel Island in 1581, using such modern methods of treasure-hunting as submarine trackers and underwater TV cameras. Tompkins used many actual Santa Barbara people in the story, which is the third in a series of ham radio adventures featuring the same hero. The previous two books, SOS at Midnight and CQ Chost Ship, have long been popular in local schools forbook review purposes by English sutdents, since they, too, were laid in Santa Barbara.”