ELKINS, RUDOLPH, Technical Sergeant, # 31312978, USAAF


Rudolph Elkins was born on 27 October 1923 in Chavils, Alabama, to John Cleveland Elkins (1893-1954) and (1) Lyla (Samples) Elkins (1902-1958) and (2) Lettie C. Elkins nee Boshart (1911-2002) (married 1939). Sibling Joe M. Elkins (1921-1974), Orville Emmett Walker (1934-2009). Living with them in 1940 was Lettie’s son, Clayton Levon Boshart (1932-1988). Lyla later married Lester Blake Walker (1898-1974 ) (U.S. Navy CWO).


He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, employed by Electric Boat Co., resided at 69 Dewey Ave., Groton, New London Co., CT, and described himself as 5’10”, 140 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained and was sent through India to China. On 9 May 1945 a B-25, # 43-3933, assigned 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 22nd Bomb Squadron, was in a formation over China, was hit by enemy fire, and veered out of formation in a dive from 6,500’ and crashed. After recovery from China, crew remains (Causey, Crook, Elkins, Howard, Ketchum & Kokonis) were indistinguishable and were buried in a group ceremony and burial in the Jefferson barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 2 February 1950 (Sec. 78, Graves 1034-1034A). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.


His father, born 14 February 1893, served in the U.S. Army, Corporal, during WWI. He died 18 June 1954 and is buried in the Union Cemetery, Woodville, Alabama.


His brother, Joe M. Elkins, born 25 April 1921, served in the U.S. Army from 2 March 1943 to 30 January 1946. He died 24 July 1974 and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Lanett, Chambers Co., Alabama.


His step-half-brother, Clayton L. Boshart served in the USAF, Major, from 14 November 1950 to 30 November 1970, during Korea and Vietnam. He died 15 April 1988 and is buried in the Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois (Sec. F, Grave 286).