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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA

WILKENING, Otto Henry (c. 1916-1941), one of three men killed in two jets that collided off San Clemente Island on June 6, 1941. Wilkenning was 25 years old.

In the News~

June 7, 1941 [Arizona Independent Republic]: “San Diego, June 6 — Death of three navy fliers in a mid-air crash of two torpedo bombing planes was announced today by authorities at the San Diego navy base. A fourth man was critically injured. The planes, operating from the cruiser Chester, crashed late yesterday, it was announced, during practice over the Pacific Ocean near San Clemente Island. The dead: Ensign Thomas H. Tepuni, 27 years old, 969 Bay Street, San Francisco; Paul Justin Burroughs, 20, first class radioman, Albion. Iowa; Otto Henry Wilkening, 25, also a radio operator, Nebraska. In the naval hospital was Ensign Jack Russell Egan, who parachuted into the ocean. Tepuni and Egan, both reserve fliers, were piloting the planes.”