|Born||Claude K. Wilkinson|
July 27, 1904
Dodge City, Kansas
|Died||June 12, 1989 (age 84) |
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Commander C.K. "Wilkie" Wilkinson (1904-1989), U.S. Navy, was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians of which he was a past president (1970) and a founding member.
Wilkinson's interest in magic began in 1910 when he read articles by Howard Thurston about magic in his Sunday School paper.
In 1923 he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering then joined the U. S. Naval Reserve as an enlisted seaman the following year. He commissioned a Naval Aviator Ensign U.S.N.R. In April of 1941 he was recalled to active duty with the U. S. Navy where he invented and developed many of the synthetic devices still employed in training aviators.
During the war years, Wilkinson was Commanding Officer Patrol Plane Squadron 18, Corpus Christi, Texas; C. O. Hedron 15, North Africa, and C/Staff Fleet Air Wing 15. In later years he was Commander and Executive Officer U.S.S. Curtiss preceding and during Pacific Atomic Tests, and later Inspector General, Commander Naval Forces, Marianas, Special Projects, Plants and Intelligence Officer Naval Forces, Western Pacific.
When he retired in 1959, Wilkinson was a Commander with full honors, a recognized geopolist, with more than 10,000 hours pilot time as an aviator. In retirement, he wrote a weekly column for the newspapers, owned a citrus ranch, wrote books, served as a consultant, built electronic organs, rebuilt player pianos and kept a collection of antique cars.