Wilton R. Pickett (1968/01/09)
Wilton Ray Pickett, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray S. Pickett, was born in Los Angeles, California, on July 23, 1941. Wilton grew up in Southern California, attended LA County schools and graduated from Anaheim Union High School in 1959. In 1964 the Pickett family, which also consisted of daughters Judy and Betty Jean, moved to Santa Cruz County where Wilton and his father worked in the heating and sheet metal business. He also found employment in the crop dusting industry. His constant movement from one job to another delayed his being drafted.
In February 1966 Wilton Pickett was inducted into the US Army. Following basic and advanced training, he was assigned to Company B, 815th Engineer Battalion of the 935th Group at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. On March 23, 1967, Pickett and his unit flew to California and upon arrival boarded the troopship USNS General Walker for Vietnam.
Upon arrival in Vietnam April 15, 1967, Pickett was transported to his base at Engineer Hill near the central highland town of Pleiku. In Vietnam he drove a dump truck for the construction of bases, structures, roads, airfields, facilities, bridges and other building projects.
On January 9, 1968, at a location identified as Connell Quarry, Specialist Fourth Class Wilton Ray Pickett was killed by small arms gunfire while moving towards a bunker following an explosion. His remains were returned home and following a funeral service on January 22, 1968, were interred in Oakwood Memorial Park in Santa Cruz.
(VVMW; 815th Engineers, History Vietnam Tour, http://groups. msn.com/815thEngineers/inmemoryof.msnw, [15 May 2007 Approx.]; SCSn January 12, 1968 1:7, January 24, 1968 C4: 8; Oakwood Cemetery Survey)