Retired California Game Warden

Wardens Killed, Wounded or Who Died While on Duty Since 1900

Bert Blanchard, killed on Feb. 2, 1913. Contra Costa Co.

John W. Galloway, wounded on March 10, 1913.  S.F. Co.

Ernest Raynaud, killed on April 16, 1913.  San Quentin Pt., Marin Co.

Frank Cady, wounded on June 1913.  Near Moon Lake, Lassen, Co.

Joseph Nelligan, wounded on June 1913.  Near Moon Lake, Lassen, Co.

George J. Rodolph, killed on Nov 29, 1914. 3 miles East of Los Banos.

Raymond B. Heacock, killed on December 12, 1916. Boudin Island (Isleton) San Joaquin, Co.

Richard Squires, killed on Dec 12, 1916. Boudin Island (Isleton) San Joaquin, Co.

James S. White, killed on Oct 17, 1923. Castella, Shasta Co.

Henry J. Abels, died from a stroke while on patrol on August 21, 1925. Santa Barbara.

John O’Connell, wounded on June 1927. San Joaquin County.

Frank Machado, drowned on June 10, 1928. Pinto Lake, Watsonville.

George Thompson, killed on Sept 7, 1928.  Near Pennington, Sutter Co.

Alan G. Curry, killed on April 30, 1930.  South S. F. Bay, San Mateo Co.

John “Jack” Burke (Ret.), killed on April 30, 1930 while assisting Warden Curry as a volunteer.

Walter R. Krukow, killed on April 20, 1947.  Boulder Creek near Whiskeytown, Shasta Co.

K. Karl Lund, died in his patrol vehicle near Napa on June 14, 1948.

Capt. Arthur Stager, died on duty on Oct. 28, 1948.  Drowned in Fall River near Glenburn, Shasta Co.

Captain Fred W. Hecker, died on Jan. 20, 1950 from a fall from a cliff between Avila and Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co.

Clarence L. Brown, died on April 3, 1959. Automobile accident.  Fresno Co.

Russell M. Bushey, Jr. died on July 1, 1969 in Fall River while preparing his patrol skiff for an inspection of an ongoing streambed alteration violation.

Paul S. Smith, died on Dec 19, 1970 while SCUBA diving on duty off shore Pt. Mendocino.

Jean K. Jones Jr., killed on May 14, 1979. Near McAvoy Yacht Harbor in Pittsburg, Contra Costa Co.

Leon Harvey Nelson, died Oct 27, 1979. Automobile accident in Glenn County.

Lt. Robert A. Flynt, died on May 11, 1984. Automobile accident in El Centro.

Lt. Roy J. Reed, died on June 7, 1984. Automobile accident near Bakersfield while in pursuit of another vehicle.

Greg W. Cook, died on Jan 11, 1992. Helicopter accident while investigating an oil spill in the Sacramento River Delta near Carquinez.

Kyle Kroll, wounded on August 5, 2005 during a raid on a marijuana growing operation on Sierra Azul Mid-Peninsula Open Space property in Santa Clara Co.

Based on my experience and the experience of my fellow game wardens, being a game warden is not a job, but a calling. Game wardens believe that it is very important to protect our natural resources for our children and our children’s children. You can see from this story that many have put their lives on the line to protect that resource.  As you read the stories about the wardens who make up the “Thin Green Line” between the outlaws and the precious natural resources of the State of California, take a moment to remember those who were wounded and those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Read more about it: To read more about game wardens, here in California as well as across the country, you will find many great books available in your local library, or available through online book sellers or as downloads for your Kindle or Nook. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with and known the following California Game Wardens: Jim Wictum, Terry Hodges, Terry Grosz, Steve Callan, and John Nores. Some of the best story tellers I have known over the years have been my fellow game wardens. For a list of a few of my favorite authors, go to

3 thoughts on “Wardens Killed, Wounded or Who Died While on Duty Since 1900

  1. Carl Jochums

    2 things.
    1. on this website, the info panel on right is covering part of text and photos in main field.
    2. On the Wardens killed It would be a great addition if you could hot-link to a short synopsis of the incident. I know that in some cases, especially those in the early 1900’s, there was scant information about who or what, but I was surprised at the number of them which were knife attacks; Terry Hodges did quite a bit of research on that back in our Delta days and had a bunch of info. He had additional info of attacks which I believe were not fatal. One was quite remarkable as I recall – 1920’s a Warden in the Delta (Terminus Track – Correia Rd – approached two duck hunters in a blind; one shot his arm off, he returned fire killing one and wounding the other; he took wounded assailant to his car and drove to Lodi; I don’t think he died from his wound.) I will look through my junk and see if I can find Terry’s summary, but I am sure Terry has a copy near. Also, wasn’t Gunderson beaten senseless?

    1. CaptJack Post author

      Carl, thanks for your input. Still working on the synopsis for each one. Started with the early ones and am still working on the rest. I remember hearing about Gundy, but still need to collect more info. I will check with Terry. As for the page overlap, which page?

    2. CaptJack Post author

      Carl: I went back to check the pages to see what was blocked as per your note. I also checked the links for the stories about officers killed or injured and found that many of the links were not working after moving the whole site over to the new format. Those links have been repaired and you should be able to read the back story on those wardens.

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