Deputy Sheriff Travis Milton French

Deputy Sheriff Travis Milton French

McDowell County Sheriff's Office, West Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, April 20, 1949

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Travis Milton French

Deputy Sheriff Travis French was shot and killed with his own service weapon by a prisoner in the County Jail.

Deputy French had let the man out to use the phone, and when the deputy turned his back, the man grabbed his gun and shot him. Police Officer Boss Johnson of the Welch Police Department and another officer pursued the suspect from the jail to the basement of a nearby house, where a gunfight resulted. Officer Johnson and the suspect were shot and killed.

Deputy French was a United States Navy WWI veteran and had served with the McDowell County Sheriff's Office for four months. He was survived by his wife and ten children.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

correctional Facility, escape, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff French,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Navy during World War I. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

April 20, 2024

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