Shoenfelt, 94, born November 12, 1911, in Muskogee, OK,
the son of George B. Shoenfelt and Jessie Jordan
Shoenfelt. He passed away Saturday, August 26, 2006 at
the Webb City Health and Rehab Center in Webb City, MO.
He attended high school at OMA for 3-1/2 years and
graduated from Gettysburg High School, Gettysburg, PA.
During those years he washed and cleaned airplanes in
exchange for flight instruction at Spartan School of
Aeronautics and at age 18 earned his commercial pilot's
In 1939 he enlisted in the Air Force Reserves and in
1940 he joined TWA as a commercial airlines pilot. In
March of 1942 he was called to active duty in WWII and
served for 3 years and 9 months in the China-Burma-India
theatre under Generals Stillwell, Chenault and Bissell
and in North Africa under General Brereton. He flew DC-3
missions over the Himalayans to bring American and
allied material and passengers into China. He helped
re-supply the retreating Burmese section of the Chinese
army by spotting them in pockets of the mountains,
circling and dropping his cargo. His proudest moment was
when he rescued 80 nurses and medics fleeing Burma and
flew them to safety. He flew C-47 cargo planes into
North Africa until he sustained an injury and spent six
months at Walter Reed Hospital. He then returned to
active duty and test piloted a wide variety of
reconditioned fighter, medium bomber and cargo planes
prior to returning them to action.
He received the American Forces' Silver Star, WWII
Presidential Citation, American Campaign (with Foreign
Service), Asiatic-Pacific Campaign and
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medals. He was
awarded a personal medal for gallantry by General Chiang
Kai-Shek, the highest Chinese military award, as well as
another medal, the Chinese Order of Land, Sea and Air.
In 1994, he was awarded a pair of Pilot Wings of the
Chinese Air Force by General Tang Fei in recognition of
Outstanding Personal and Professional Achievements in
Military Aviation. He was discharged as a Major from the
Air Force in September 1956.
After active duty, he returned to TWA and flew
commercial flights until 1950 when he bought a fleet of
tractor-trailer rigs and hauled explosives
He did the flight work for the movie version of Colonel
Robert L. Scott's bestseller, "God Is My Co-Pilot", the
stunting in Laurel and Hardy's "Flying Deuces" and the
hard tricks in Jackie Coogan's "Tailspin Tommy" serials.
He was a member of the Hump Pilot's Association, the
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Joplin Shrine Club,
Fellowship 345, A.F.N.A.M., Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of
Missouri and the Abou Ben Adhem Temple, Springfield, MO.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister
LaVere Anderson. He is survived by daughter Linda A.
Doering and grandson C. Seth of Tulsa and daughter
Beverly J. Robinson of New Smyrna Beach, FL. and
grandson Chris, granddaughter Lisa and
great-granddaughter Megan, as well as many nieces and
nephews. A graveside service was held at the Rose Hill
Cemetery at noon on Tuesday August 29, 2006.