David J. Schmidt obituary photo
 
In Memory of

David J. Schmidt

May 15, 1921 - November 7, 2010

Obituary


DAVID J. SCHMIDT Age 89, David J. Schmidt, Lt. Col., USAF, Retired, died November 7, 2010 of natural causes, with family by his side. Born on May 15, 1921 at Ernfold, Saskatchewan, Canada; he moved to St. Joseph, Michigan with his family in 1923, where he spent his youth through high school. He joined the US Army Air Corps in May 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant pilot in 1943. As a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, his plane was hit and lost 3 engines in Aug. 1944 over Leipzig, Germany. After he and his...

DAVID J. SCHMIDT Age 89, David J. Schmidt, Lt. Col., USAF, Retired, died November 7, 2010 of natural causes, with family by his side. Born on May 15, 1921 at Ernfold, Saskatchewan, Canada; he moved to St. Joseph, Michigan with his family in 1923, where he spent his youth through high school. He joined the US Army Air Corps in May 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant pilot in 1943. As a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, his plane was hit and lost 3 engines in Aug. 1944 over Leipzig, Germany. After he and his entire crew parachuted to safety in the Ruhr Valley, he was subsequently captured and spent the remainder of the war as a POW at Stalag Luft III. He was eligible for the Purple Heart but declined the honor because he suffered no catastrophic injuries. He remained in the USAF as a career officer and instructor pilot of B-47 and B-52 aircrafts; positions included Operations Staff Officer to Base Commander at Chambley Air Base, France (1965 - 1967) and Vice Commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany (1967 - 1968). He returned to combat flying as a staff officer and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal with oak-leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Republic of Viet Nam AF Honor Medal, and RNV Air Combat Medal in addition to eleven other theater, service and combat medals. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in 1976. In addition to enjoying fishing, hunting, and swimming, he was an avid golfer with single digit handicaps and two holes-in-one in 1976 and 1987. He still walked the General Old Golf Course twice each week at age 83. He was a founding member of Grace Baptist Church in Riverside, which he attended for 40 years and where he served as funds counter and usher. He served as the Church Services Chairman for the East Riverside Camp of the Gideons International where he coordinated Gideon church services and school bible distributions. He has been a member of Grace Bible Church for the past 10 years. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ethyle Schmidt; children, Hollace D. Koons, Andrew C. Schmidt II, Melissa D. Milanovich, and Bradley D. Schmidt; grandchildren, Courtney, Harley, Nicholas, Ragnhild, Scott, Reid and Trista; and 7 great-grandchildren. His family suggests memorial contributions be sent to the Gideons International worldwide distribution for bibles to developing nations. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 17th, 2010 from 5-8pm and services on Nov. 18th at 11am to be held at Acheson & Graham Mortuary of Riverside with Military Services to follow at Riverside National Cemetery. Arrangements under the direction of Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary (951) 688-1221 www.achesonandgraham.com