Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Walbrook Davis Swank of Walbrook” atFrederick’s Hall passed away Sunday May 4 2008.He is survived by his wife Frances Powell Keller Gordon Swank; his stepson
Robert R. Keller and his wife Sarah and granddaughter Emily; and sisters-in-law Blanche and Ann Powell and their families.
He was preceded in death by his second wife Nellie Mae Stewart Pettit Swank and is survived by her stepson Pembroke R. Pettit and his wife
Deborah; granddaughters Leanne Pettit and Arabella Pettit Moss and herhusband Charles; and great-grandchildren Moriah Joy and MacDaniel Bentley.
He also was preceded in death by his first wife Jane Orr Swank;sisters-in-law Virginia Orr Shield and Winnie Orr Sutton; a brother-in-law Jack Orr; and is survived by sisters-in-law Nancy Orr Jones and Joy OrrHocher; and brother-in-law Robert Orr and their families. Also surviving are cousins Courtney Van Fosson John Davis and Phyllis
Driver Diller; and a host of friends and colleagues around the world.
Col. Swank received numerous awards for meritorious and outstanding service with the Air Force during World War II and the Korean War and a Distinguished Service Citation from the Secretary of the Treasury.
During World War II his duties included assisting some notable Americans including the president’s son Gen. Elliott Roosevelt Gen. Charles
Lindbergh Jimmy Doolittle and Jimmy Stewart the movie actor. He served a tour of duty at the White House during the Eisenhower administration.
He was a member of the Federal Personnel Councils of Cincinnati Ohio;Chicago Ill.; San Francisco Calif.; and Anchorage Alaska. He was a member
of the War Department Personnel Research Council and served as a member of
the board of directors of the Army and Air Force Civilian Welfare Fund for
The colonel was a member of the Military Officers Association of America
and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars from which he received its
Distinguished Service Award and its Southern Culture Award. As an author he
was the recipient of the prestigious Sir Moses Ezekiel Award for achievement
in literature by the Virginia Society of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars and the MOSB Henry Timrod Southern Culture Award. He was a founding
member of the World War II Memorial Society and of the Military Order of the Foreign Wars of the United States and the American Air Museum in Britain.
He was a prolific writer of Civil War stories and authored or edited 17 books on the subject several relating to events activities and people in
Louisa County. He also produced four books relating to World War II. He was awarded membership in the Bonnie Blue Society based on his scholarly
research and published literature and was the recipient of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Medal for his outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of our Southern history and
heritage. He received the organization’s Cross of Military Service. He was a member of the Society of Civil War Historians in Louisa County the
/>Harrisonburg–Rockingham and Virginia Historical Societies the Museum of the Confederacy and the Thomas Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Col. Swank was the founder and first commander of the Trevilian Station
Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans. He was honored by letters of commendation from U.S. Sen. George Allen Gov. Mark Warner Sen. R. Edward
Houck and the Senate of the commonwealth of Virginia for his contributions to the heritage and culture of the American South and preservation of Louisa
County’s historic Trevilian Station battlefield.
He was a past president of the Worthington Ohio Kiwanis Club and a former
member of the Columbus Ohio Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of
the board of directors of the Louisa County Lions Club and the Louisa County
Historical Society. He was a life member of the Ohio State University Alumni
Association and the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.
Col. Swank was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Mineral.
Family will receive friends Thursday May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Church of the Incarnation where a funeral will be held Saturday May 10 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Bethphage Christian Church cemetery in Frederick’s Hall.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation Box 307 Mineral Va. 23117; or to any rescue squad or fire