Calvin Glenn Threlkeld was born in Golconda, Illinois, on January 22, 1924, the son of Harry and Orpha Taylor Threlkeld. His father was a food inspector for the state.1 Calvin had three brothers and a sister.2 His dad died in 1931, when Calvin was 7. Calvin married Cleotis Imogene “Genie” Alley on October 19, 1947, in Golconda. They had two sons, Roy and Harry.3 In 1970, their son, Harry, then 21, was seriously injured in a water accident on the 4th of July. He had a head injury, broken neck and fractured vertebrae.4
Calvin was working on a farm in Golconda when he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942.5 He enlisted in the Army on December 15, 1942, and was sent overseas to serve in the European Theatre as a tail gunner on a B-26 Marauder. Staff Sergeant Threlkeld completed 65 missions and was honorably discharged on July 31, 1945.6 He received the Air Medal.
The B-26 Marauder was an American twin-engine medium bomber that saw extensive action during World War II. The B-26 was used in the Pacific Theatre, in Western Europe and in the Mediterranean Theatre. The bomber was built in Baltimore, Maryland, and Omaha, Nebraska, by the Glen L. Martin Company.7 The B-26 bombed from medium altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet. The Marauder, with appropriate fighter escort, proved to be very successful in striking against a variety of targets, including bridges and V-1 launching sites in the buildup to D-Day.8
The B-26 carried a crew of seven. The pilot and co-pilot sat side by side in seats behind an armored bulkhead. The navigator, who also served as the radio operator, sat behind the pilots in a small compartment. The bombardier dropped the B-26’s bombload and three gunners were in the rear of the bomber.9
After the war, Calvin attended the University of Illinois where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1950 and later earned his master’s degree in agriculture and education. He taught school at Riverdale Junior High and Senior High schools for over 20 years. He was hired there in July 1964, having come from Hittle Township High School in Armington.10 In October 1964, Calvin was presented with an award by the Illinois Governor in Springfield for outstanding service to Illinois agriculture.11 He was known as “Mr. T.” at Riverdale. Threlkeld retired from teaching in 1984.12
The Threlkelds wintered in Apache Junction, Arizona, after retirement. He was a member of the Coe-Lamb American Legion Post in Port Byron, Illinois. Threlkeld enjoyed playing pool, cribbage, and watching his grandchildren’s sports and hobbies. He was a member of the board of trustees for the Village of Port Byron for several years, retiring in 1979.13
Calvin Threlkeld died on November 19, 2012, in Moline, Illinois. He was survived by his wife, Imogene; son, Roy; brother, William; three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Harry; brothers George and Donald; and a sister, Ines McMahon. 14