Aviator honored in Winona

By The Associated Press

WINONA — An historical marker has been unveiled on Old Highway 82 near Winona Church of Christ in honor of a Winona naval aviator who died in the line of duty on June 20, 1913.

The marker, placed Monday, is dedicated to Navy Ensign William Devotie Billingsley.

Billingsley died just before World War I.

According to naval records, Billingsley’s was flying a B-2 Wright biplane 1,600 feet over the water near Annapolis, Md. During the flight, the plane flew into turbulence, and Billingsley was thrown from the plane and fell to his death over the Chesapeake Bay. He was 21. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Winona, where a wreath was placed Monday.

Billingsley was born in the Alva community on April 24, 1887.