JOHN E. SHEDAKER, JR., MAJ, USMC
John Shedaker, Jr. '42
Date of birth: May 7, 1918
Date of death: October 11, 1948
From the 1942 Lucky Bag:
From Gen Disasters:
The body of Maj. John E. Shedaker, Jr., Marine flier, was found late Tuesday [October 12] in about 100 feet of water in Choctawhatchee Bay near Destin, Florida, according to the public information office of Barin Field.
Navy divers recovered the body located a short distance from the wreckage of the plane, after it was spotted from the air.
Indications were that the plane, a Corsair, had caught fire in the air and spun down. Major Shedaker was flying one of two Corsairs which were on a routine training flight over Eglin when the lead plane developed a fuel line failure and the pilot made an emergency landing with a dead engine. He reported that he lost sight of the other plane which failed to return to Barin Field.
Major Shedaker was survived by a wife and three children who were living in Pensacola temporarily during the assignment of the air group to Operation Combine III. He was serving as operations officer of VMF 212 of Marine Air Group 14 during the operation centered at Eglin Air Force Base. Playground News, Fort Walton, FL, Thursday 10-14-1948.
He is buried in California.
From the March 1949 issue of Shipmate:
Mrs. John E. Shedaker, Jr., sent me a copy of the class questionnaire which was found among Jack's personal affects and a very lengthy letter from which I shall take the liberty of quoting rather liberally. Although the letter was addressed to me as a close friend of Jack's, I know that Pat was speaking to the class through me.
"This is the first opportunit)' I have had to wriie to you and thank you for the very kind letter you sent to me after Jack's death. It was very much appreciated, because I know you were a good and close friend of Jack's and not just a sympathetic bystander.
"Today I had lunch with Dwight and Alice Raymond, '42, and they showed me the letters that you sent in for the December issue of Shipmate. It was a beautiful tribute to a fine officer and Jack would have been pleased to have known how well thought of he was by his classmates.
"Will you, through the facilities of Shipmate, extend my deepest appreciation for the lovely flowers sent to the funeral from the Class of '42. You might like to know that they were sent, along with those of his squadron (VMF212), to California with Jack.
"Jack was buried 13 November at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego, California.
"Jack's plane crashed into Choctawatchee Bay. He was on a high altimde test hop in a F4U4. He was descending and upon reaching 30,000 feet, his left fuel line broke and the wing caught fire. The fumes asphyxiated him at 25,000 feet and he rolled in.
"My permanent address is 329 Poinsettia, Corona del Mar, California, five miles north of Laguna Beach in the Newport Beach area."
Jack's patents live at 141 West Broad Street, Burlington, N. J. When he was killed he was Executive Officer of VMF212, MCAS, Cherry Point, N. C. Besides his widow, Pat Houston Shedaker, Jack left a son, John Robert Shedaker, age 3, and two daughters, Carol Adair Shedaker, age 4, and Charlotte Ruth Shedaker, age 1 1/2. I hope to be able to drop in on Pat one of these days and I know that she will welcome a visit from any of the class who might be stationed on the West Coast.
From Gen Disasters:
Major Shedaker, Jr. was awarded his pilot wings in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida on 27 May 1948, according to base newspaper Jax Air News, Vol. 6, No.9, dated that date. C. Mark Sublette , April 15 2011