But he hasn’t been forgotten.
After the Register ran an article Oct. 8 about the 1958 plane crash in Idaho that killed Wilson and 18 others, and an Arkansas researcher’s efforts to find relatives of the men aboard the flight, members of Wilson’s family contacted this newspaper.
His daughter, Denise Kapuzky, 55, lives in Anaheim, Calif.
Wilson’s widow, Joyce Vanovich, who remarried after her husband’s death, lives in Georgetown, Texas.
Wilson’s other daughter, Jaye, also lives in Georgetown.
Kapuzky was only 2 years old when her father died, so she can’t remember anything about him.
But she did hear stories about him as she was growing up.
When she got married in California, she and her husband drove to San Francisco, then drove on impulse to Idaho after Kapuzky asked to see the monument to the plane crash.
They headed to Payette, Idaho.
“We got there at night and we couldn’t find it,” Kapuzky said.
The couple finally found someone who identified the road it was on. They went to sleep in the car, and when the sun rose they drove up and down the road until they finally found it.
Mike Riddle, 46, a bartender at the Bell Mell Tavern in Port Clinton, is Wilson’s nephew.
He was too young to know Wilson, but he heard stories about him from his late mother, Wilson’s sister.
When Wilson’s sisters needed shoes for school, Wilson got a job at age 14 to pay for them, Riddle said.
Clippings and memorabilia saved by Riddle show Wilson attended flight school in 1944 at Victory Field in Vernon, Texas.
Wilson went into an Air Force Reserve unit in Sandusky after the war, but during the Korean War he re-entered active duty and flew shuttle flights from Japan to Korea.
Wilson was one of the pilots of an Air Force C-123B Fairchild Provider that crashed on Oct. 9, 1958, killing all 19 people aboard.
The plane was carrying Air Force maintenance workers supporting the Thunderbirds’ demonstration squadron.
Larry Good, a Rogers, Ark., resident, is the brother of one of the men who died on the flight, Adrain Gayther.
Good has produced a homemade book on the crash and the people who were aboard the plane. He said Tuesday he intends to print copies and give them to Wilson’s relatives.