David H. Walke
1 Lt
U. S. Army Air Forces
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 09/20/1943 - 08/12/1947
B-17 Instructor Pilot/P-47 Pilot

Born in Monroe, Louisiana, David grew up in Shreveport. His father, a physician and surgeon, died in 1939. Early in life David loved flight. On Saturdays his mother let him spend the day at the airport among pilots, planes, and mechanics. He took his first flying lesson on his sixteenth birthday. David graduated from McCauley School in Chattanooga, Tennessee in June of 1943, and enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program two months later. "A lot of people spent their war time service going to school. My mother couldn't understand why I didn't want to do that. I kept telling her, `I want to fly. That's all I want to do,'" he recalls. He took basic training at Sheppard Field in Wichita Falls, Texas, and then was sent to Iowa State Teachers College as part of the College Training Detachment. The program condensed the freshman year of college in four months. He went to pre-flight training at Santa Ana Army Airfield in California; primary flight school at Ryan Field in Tucson, Arizona; basic flight training at Gardner Field in Taft, California; and advanced training at Marfa, Texas. The war ended while David was still in the states. Released from active duty in October of 1945, he returned to Shreveport and became a civilian flight instructor. He earned a degree from Georgia Tech University on the GI Bill. David served in the reserves or Air National Guard until 1957. He entered the insurance business in Shreveport, and later served as president of First Federal. He retired in 1988, and then did contract work for the State Insurance Department. In 1998 he was asked to establish a foundation at the LSU Medical School.