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Patrolman John Wright

Wright was born on June 8, 1925, to Howard H. Wright and Carrie L. Linekin in Hilo, Hawaii.  He had two brothers, Howard and Peter.  His father supported the family by working as a salesman in an automotive garage.


At the age of 18, Wright joined the United States Air Force during World War II, serving from 1943 to 1946.  He rose to the rank of sergeant while serving with the 15th Weather Squadron.  The desire to serve his country and community continued after Wright’s three year tour.  He chose to join the Washington State Patrol, and was commissioned September 10, 1951, with the 16th Trooper Cadet Class, assigned to the Spokane Valley detachment.


Patrolman Wright died on June 28, 1953, at the age of 28.  Patrolman Wright was outside his patrol car talking with a motorist on the shoulder of East Sprague at Barker Road in Greenacres.  Both vehicles were at least four feet off the roadway when a driver sped past and struck Patrolman Wright, throwing him 77 feet.  Patrolman Wright was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital, but sadly succumbed to his injuries just four hours later.  At the time of his death, Patrolman Wright had served 20 months with the Washington State Patrol. 


Patrolman Wright was survived by his wife, Barbara Dianne, four year old son John F. and 15 month old son Daniel H., as well as his parents, Howard and Carrie.

On May 11, 1998, Patrolman Wright was awarded the Washington Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on June 28, 1953, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.

Over the years, the WSPMF has lost contact with Patrolman Wright’s family.  If you have any information on members of Patrolman Wright’s family, please contact Megan King at (360) 597-4411.

Please take a moment to remember Patrolman John Wright and his family.

Washington State Highway Patrol

Patrolman John Wright
End of Watch – June 28, 1953 
Gone But Never Forgotten 

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