Patrolman Walter B. Holcomb

Patrolman Walter B. Holcomb

San Diego Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, October 21, 1918

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Walter B. Holcomb

Patrolman Walter Holcomb died as a result of contracting Spanish influenza.

At the time he contracted the disease he was transporting a flu victim to the hospital. The virus was part of a worldwide epidemic at the time.

Patrolman Holcomb had served with the agency for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two children. One of his brothers also served with the agency.

Effects of Spanish Flu on Law Enforcement

From 1918 to early 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed approximately 675,000 Americans. Many officers contracted this virus due to the requirements of their job.

The names of every officer who died in the line of duty from the Spanish Flu will likely never be known, but ODMP researchers continue to uncover new cases as part of our mission to never forget the fallen.

Please click here to view ODMP's Spanish Flu memorial listing all known fallen officers from the pandemic.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Saturday, October 19, 1918

communicable disease

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Holcomb,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of San Diego. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 21, 2018

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