Lts. Gage and Inks Marry Johnston Sisters.

Over the last two weeks in Letters From War Wednesdays, we’ve heard from pilots-in-training, Jim Gage and Howard Inks. The pair were childhood friends and would later both serve as bomber pilots in the South Pacific, flying for the 13th Air Force. In 1943, Jim and Howard would actually become brothers-in-law.

From the Niles Society page of the South Bend Tribune, dated Monday, February 8, 1943:

“NILES, Mich., Feb. 8. – Friendships formed during high school days have culminated in the marriage of Miss Lorita Johnston and Flight Lt. Howard R. Inks and Miss Doris Johnston and Flight Lt. James F. Gage, according to announcement by the brides’ parents, Rev. and Mrs. Floyd W. Johnston, 515 Oak Street. Miss Lorita Johnston became the bride of Lt. Inks at 4 p.m. a week ago in the First Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C., with Dr. M.I. Latmor reading the service. Lt. Inks’ parents are Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Inks, Wawaka, Ind. The bride wore a tailored beige suit, brown accessories and a corsage of orchids. The bride’s sister, Doris, who wore a rose silk crepe dress, and Lt. Gage attended the couple. Lt. and Mrs. Inks will reside temporarily at 701 McDaniel Avenue, Greenville, where the former is stationed.

“Miss Doris Johnston was accompanied home, following her sister’s marriage, by Lt. Gage, who spent several days in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gage, Albion, Ind., and in the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Gage, 905 East Victoria Street, South Bend. Miss Johnston and Lt. Gage were married at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon in the First Baptist Church, South Bend. Officiating at the ceremony was the bride’s father, Rev. Mr. Johnston, assisted by the pastor of the South Bend church, Rev. C.C. Browne, who read the service. The bride wore a cream silk crepe dress with dark brown accessories and she carried a bouquet of red roses.

“… Lt. and Mrs. Gage left immediately for South Carolina where they will reside at 701 McDaniel, Greenville. Lt. and Mrs. Inks and Lt. and Mrs. Gage were all students together in Wawaka. Mrs. Inks was dental assistant to Dr. Robert G. Turner here, but more recently she was employed in South Bend. Before enlisting in the United States army air service both Lt. Inks and Lt. Gage were employed in South Bend. They have been together throughout their army training and received their wings last October at Ellington Field, Houston Texas.”

One Response to “Lts. Gage and Inks Marry Johnston Sisters”

  1. Tim Inks says:

    I am Howard Inks’s youngest son. My sister happened upon this, and forwarded it to me and to my two brothers. A couple of corrections: Howard Inks did fly B-25s, but not in the South Pacific with Jim Gage. My dad flew with the 12th Bomb Group, 434th Bomb Sqn, in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations starting in Tunisia (June 1943) and ending in Sicily, 51 missions later (December 1943).

    Howard Inks made the Air Force his career, flying combat missions in Korea as well, and rose to the rank of Colonel before retiring in 1973. He passed away in December 2010, 22 days short of his 91st birthday. (My mother, Lorita Inks, passed away in 1987.)

    Also, there is a typo in the piece from the South Bend Tribune. Howard Inks’s father (my grandfather), was Harley (not Harvey) Inks.

    It’s great to see this on the web. I assume the material came from my aunt, Doris Gage. The article is about two best friends marrying two sisters, but there’s more to it than that. Aunt Dorie was not only my mom’s sister, but was also her best friend.

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