It saddens me in reporting the demise of a 40BS member. Lt. Col David J. Schmidt, USAF, Retired, passed away November 7, 2010 in Riverside, CA at age 89. Born 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 U.S. Army Air Forces in May 1942, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant pilot in 1943 As a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot his plane was hit by enemy fire in August 1944 over Leipzig, Germany. 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. (The license plates of his car readily identified its owner, POW SL3). He remained in the Air Force as a career officer and instructor pilot in B-47 and B-52 aircraft. While a member of the 40BS he was aircraft commander of a B-52 crew. Dave held many staff assignments following crew duty in foreign and stateside assignments. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, swimming and was an avid golfer with a single digit handicap.. He was a founding member of Grace Baptist Church, which he attended for 40 years. He was active in Gideons International where he coordinated Gideon church services and school bible distributions.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years Ethyle Schmidt, four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Dave will be laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery following Military Honors, Nov. 18th.