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Schilling inducted into Hall of Fame

Carrie Moore
Published: Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Bob Schilling, second from left, accepts an AK-47 from Russian Green Berets after rescuing their plane during an air strike during the Vietnam War.

 

When Bob Schilling enlisted in the Air Force over 60 years ago, he never imagined he would be given a special honor for his contribution to aviation.
Schilling was inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame on Saturday through the South Dakota Pilots Association, which promotes and honors the pioneers and contributors to South Dakota aviation. 
“It blew my mind,” he said. “I knew a friend of mine suggested my name and the only thing he asked me for was proof that I was boots on in Vietnam. I forgot all about it until I got a letter in the mail congratulating me. I didn’t know what to think.”
Schilling joined over 200 other South Dakota combat aircrew members who have been inducted into the hall of fame from World War I to the present, including Clyde Ice, Joe Foss, Duane Corning, Nellie Willhite and Charles Gemar.
Schilling, born and raised in New York City, N.Y., enlisted with the Air Force in 1952 and served 21 years.
“I didn’t like the Navy, I heard the Army never slept on clean sheets and the Marines were too gung-ho,” Schilling said. “The Air Force was the place for me. I signed up and never looked back.”

When Bob Schilling enlisted in the Air Force over 60 years ago, he never imagined he would be given a special honor for his contribution to aviation.

Schilling was inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame on Saturday through the South Dakota Pilots Association, which promotes and honors the pioneers and contributors to South Dakota aviation. 

“It blew my mind,” he said. “I knew a friend of mine suggested my name and the only thing he asked me for was proof that I was boots on in Vietnam. I forgot all about it until I got a letter in the mail congratulating me. I didn’t know what to think.”

Schilling joined over 200 other South Dakota combat aircrew members who have been inducted into the hall of fame from World War I to the present, including Clyde Ice, Joe Foss, Duane Corning, Nellie Willhite and Charles Gemar.

Schilling, born and raised in New York City, N.Y., enlisted with the Air Force in 1952 and served 21 years.

“I didn’t like the Navy, I heard the Army never slept on clean sheets and the Marines were too gung-ho,” Schilling said. “The Air Force was the place for me. I signed up and never looked back.”

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