Detective Sergeant Edward Francis Wilkinson

Detective Sergeant Edward Francis Wilkinson

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Sunday, April 17, 1977

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Edward Francis Wilkinson

Detective Sergeant Edward Wilkinson was killed when the police helicopter he was piloting crashed while searching for a missing child.

Sergeant Wilkinson was returning to the helicopter hangar at the Sonoma County Airport after searching for a missing nine-year old girl when the helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed into a field on Barnes Road, approximately one-half mile south of River Road. Also injured in the crash was helicopter observer Reserve Deputy Gloria Baxter.

Sergeant Wilkinson was severely injured and succumbed to his injuries later that night. Reserve Deputy Baxter suffered major injuries but ultimately recovered.

Sergeant Wilkinson had served with the agency for 17 years, started the Department’s helicopter program and was its first pilot. The Wilkinson Valor Award was created in Sergeant Wilkinson’s memory to honor fellow officers for acts of heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Wilkinson’s ashes were scattered at sea.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest In Peace Brother LEO. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 17, 2018

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