“I shot down two Russian MIGs, but didn’t get credit for either.” That’s how Maj. Gen. Carl Schneider (ret.) described his Korean War dogfights with enemy aircraft during a presentation to the Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) gathering November 17.
“You can’t claim a kill unless your gun camera catches the action or you see the enemy plane crash or explode,” he continued. “In both cases, I saw the MIGs go down in flames but my gun cameras malfunctioned and the MIGs fell into an overcast and I couldn’t see them crash into the ground.”
Schneider, who completed 100 combat missions in a P-80 during the conflict, recalled his feeling after completing his first mission. “There was a wall of fire from bullets and flak all around my aircraft, and I wondered how I would ever complete any more missions,” he told the audience. Fortunately, he completed 100 missions and lived to tell about it.
Following the Korean War, Schneider was sent to Vietnam, where he established the Air Liaison Officer/Forward AirController system and also flew combat missions with the Vietnamese Air Force.
Now in its 18th year, SLAC sponsors programs the third Monday of each month November through April at the Sun Lakes Country Club. The programs are open to all Sun Lakes residents and others interested in aviation. More information on the club is available from Bob Walch at 895-8869 or Gary Vacin at 298-7017 or at the club’s website at www.sunlakesaeroclub.org.