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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Sixty-first Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 11, 1930.

 p183  Willoughby Walke
No. 2984 Class of 1883
Died December 16, 1928, at San Francisco, California,
aged 70 years.

Willoughby Walke was born in Norfolk, Virginia, January 28, 1859, the son of Richard Walke and Mary Diana Talbot. He attended private schools in Norfolk and later was a student at Hanover Academy in Virginia from which school he entered the University of Virginia in 1876. During his third year at the University he had the opportunity to take the competitive examination to enter the Military Academy. This effort proved successful and he went to West Point in 1879, graduating with the class of 1883. His first assignment was to the 2nd Artillery at Fort McHenry and after eighteen months to Jackson Barracks, Louisiana. In 1886 Lieutenant Walke was ordered to Fort Monroe as a student and two years later was made instructor in chemistry and high explosives at the Artillery School. He held this position until the beginning of the Spanish-American War in 1898. During this period he wrote two books on chemistry and high explosives, which were used for many years as text books at The Artillery School. He was made a member of the Royal Chemical Society about this time. In 1898, having received a commission as major, he was assigned to the 3rd Volunteer Engineer Regiment, then commanded by Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Eugene Spencer and later by Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.David Gailliard. This regiment served nearly a year in Cuba. After the Spanish-American War, Major Walke served with Coast Artillery troops in the States and in Hawaii until 1922 when he was made a Brigadier General, awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his work during the World War, and in 1923 he retired for age.

He died in San Francisco on December 16, 1928, and was buried in Norfolk, Virginia.

Besides his widow, General Walke is survived by two daughters, Mrs. James Totten, wife of Lieutenant Colonel James Totten and Mrs. Robert C. Garrett, wife of Major Robert C. Garrett.

J. W. T.

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Page updated: 28 Dec 16