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Bureacracy Never Dies

Shared by our friends at the DCMA Boeing Seattle Contract Management Office (CMO)

Col. Corkille

Col. John D. Corkille was an early U.S. Army Air Corps aviator who flew in WWI, the 1923 Bendix Air Races, the ill-fated Martin Bomber flight to Alaska, and was lead test pilot for the development of the B-17. Additionally, he is Daedalian Founder Number 546.

Unfortunately, Col. Corkille died suddenly on April 20, 1943 in Accra, Gold Coast, West Africa (present day Ghana) of a heart attack. However, there’s a curious postscript that is both humorous and morbid, and shows that while the body may die, the bureaucracy lives on!

As a Daedalian, an effort was undertaken to collect money ($50 in 1943 money) so that a Daedalian plaque could be placed on his gravestone in Accra.  Unfortunately, as of 1958, some 15 years after Col. Corkille’s death, the matter was finally resolved unsuccessfully due to bureaucratic red tape. Today, Col. Corkille’s final resting place is at the Golden Gate National Cemetary in San Bruno, California and his gravestone does not have a Daedalian crest on it.

However, since so many past commanders of our CMO were Daedalians, the Order has graciously provided us permission to use the Daedalian emblem on the member-commander biographies that are being placed in our main conference room where they will remain as long as does the factory representative unit now known as DCMA Boeing Seattle!

By the way, Boeing lowered their flags to half-mast upon receiving news of Col. Corkille’s death.