Gordon L. Scharnhorst


Preferred Name: Gordon

Nickname/Call Sign: Horse

Date of Birth: December 30, 1931 (April 11, 2017)

Highest Military Grade Held: Lieutenant Colonel

Hometown: Hermann, MO

Biography

Units Assigned

  • 1/1952, Enlisted USAF
  • 3/1954, Single-engine jet fighter pilot training, commissioned 2LT
  • 1955 George Air Force Base, CA Gordon/Aerial gunnery practice, Wheelus AFB, Libya
  • 1956-1960 Bitburg AFB, Germany (F-100C)
  • 1957 Left Wing for the United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) Aerial Demonstration Team (Skyblazers -107 official aerial demonstrations)
  • 8/7/1959 Ejection from F-100
  • 4/1960 Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, CA
  • 5/1960-11/1966 Edwards AFB, CA (F-104G, F-4C, F-5 A/B)
  • 1965 Chief of Maintenance SR-71-YF12 Blackbird test program
  • 1966-1967 British Royal Air Force Staff College, Bracknell, England.
  • 1967 Squadron Commander of Lightning Aircraft, RAF Coltishall, England
  • 1969 Aircraft Maintenance Staff Officer, Military Assistance Command, Maintenance for Combat Support Group, Thailand
  • 1971 Headquarters USAF, Washington, DC
  • 8/1971 Medical Discharge USAFCivilian
  • Wausau School District, WI, Attendance Director/Supervisor of the Buildings and Grounds.

Awards & Decorations

 Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

F-100 C
F-104 G
F-4 C
F-4 A/B
SR-71-YF12 Blackbird

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • 1949 Hermann High School
  • Aeronautical Engineering, Brayton School of Aeronautics

Gordon Scharnhorst ObituaryLt. Colonel (Retired) Gordon L. Scharnhorst – Headed West April 11, 2017
Lt. Colonel (Retired) Gordon L. Scharnhorst, 85, died April 11, 2017, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin. Gordon was born December 30, 1931, in Hermann, Missouri. He graduated from Hermann High School in 1949 and went on to Brayton School of Aeronautics where he received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Upon graduating, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 1952, completing single-engine jet fighter pilot training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1954.
After a brief stationing at George Air Force Base (AFB), California, Gordon was transferred to Bitburg AFB, Germany in 1956 where he flew the F-100C Super Sabre. While conducting aerial gunnery practice at Wheelus AFB in Libya, he met the love of his life, Margaret “Maggie” Anderson. Gordon and Margaret were married in Germany on March 28, 1960. At Bitburg AFB he flew combat alert missions on the NATO Defense Line against Soviet Block Forces in East Germany.
In December 1957, Gordon was selected to fly Left Wing for the United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) Aerial Demonstration Team (Skyblazers). He flew 107 official aerial demonstrations throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and as far east as the capital city of Tehran in Iran. During his time with the Skyblazers, he was forced to eject from his F100 aircraft on August 7th, 1959 when the flight controls became disabled. While waiting for the search and rescue team, he shared a brandy with a local German farmer. After his ejection, Gordon considered August 7th as his second birthday and celebrated it accordingly.
In April 1960 Gordon was transferred to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California. From May 1960 through November 1966 he had several duty assignments including Flight Test operations on the NATO German Air Force F104-G NATO aircraft, USAF MacDonald F-4C aircraft, and the Northrop F5 A/B aircraft. He also served as Chief of Quality Control for all aircraft and engine maintenance assigned to the military units at Edwards AFFTC. In 1965 he was selected to be the Chief of Maintenance on the Lockheed SR-71-YF12 Blackbird test program. For his distinguished performance, Gordon received his first Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious service. While at Edwards AFB, Gordon’s three children, Tim, Eric, and Kathy were born.
In December 1966 Gordon was selected to attend the British Royal Air Force Staff College in Bracknell, England. After graduating from the Staff College in 1967, Gordon was assigned to RAF Coltishall as a Squadron Commander of Lightning Aircraft. In December 1969 he was transferred to Southeast Asia where he served as an Aircraft Maintenance Staff Officer, Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, and then as Chief of Maintenance for a Combat Support Group in Thailand. Gordon received his second Oak Leaf Cluster for his distinguished performance in Asia.
In 1971 Gordon was assigned to the Pentagon Headquarters USAF Inspector General’s Office. He led a team that performed on-site inspections of aircraft maintenance and material functions, including management of USAF resources on a worldwide basis. For this distinguished performance, Gordon received his third Oak Leaf Cluster. He served in this position until August of 1971 when he was medically discharged from the Air Force.
After leaving the Air Force, Gordon was employed by the Wausau School District in Wisconsin where he served as the Attendance Director of Wausau East High School and then as the Supervisor of the Buildings and Grounds complex consisting of 15 different schools. He was a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hermann, Missouri and a Life Member of Disabled American Veterans, Wausau, Wisconsin. He was a 41-year member of the American Legion Post 10, Wausau, Wisconsin. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, skeet shooting, and golf when physically able. In later years he especially enjoyed meeting with friends at the Hiawatha lounge.
Gordon was preceded in death by his beloved wife Margaret. He is survived by his three children and their spouses.

Biography

Biography

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1/1952, Enlisted USAF
  • 3/1954, Single-engine jet fighter pilot training, commissioned 2LT
  • 1955 George Air Force Base, CA Gordon/Aerial gunnery practice, Wheelus AFB, Libya
  • 1956-1960 Bitburg AFB, Germany (F-100C)
  • 1957 Left Wing for the United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) Aerial Demonstration Team (Skyblazers -107 official aerial demonstrations)
  • 8/7/1959 Ejection from F-100
  • 4/1960 Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, CA
  • 5/1960-11/1966 Edwards AFB, CA (F-104G, F-4C, F-5 A/B)
  • 1965 Chief of Maintenance SR-71-YF12 Blackbird test program
  • 1966-1967 British Royal Air Force Staff College, Bracknell, England.
  • 1967 Squadron Commander of Lightning Aircraft, RAF Coltishall, England
  • 1969 Aircraft Maintenance Staff Officer, Military Assistance Command, Maintenance for Combat Support Group, Thailand
  • 1971 Headquarters USAF, Washington, DC
  • 8/1971 Medical Discharge USAFCivilian
  • Wausau School District, WI, Attendance Director/Supervisor of the Buildings and Grounds.

Awards & Decorations

 Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

F-100 C
F-104 G
F-4 C
F-4 A/B
SR-71-YF12 Blackbird

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • 1949 Hermann High School
  • Aeronautical Engineering, Brayton School of Aeronautics
Headed West

Gordon Scharnhorst ObituaryLt. Colonel (Retired) Gordon L. Scharnhorst – Headed West April 11, 2017
Lt. Colonel (Retired) Gordon L. Scharnhorst, 85, died April 11, 2017, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin. Gordon was born December 30, 1931, in Hermann, Missouri. He graduated from Hermann High School in 1949 and went on to Brayton School of Aeronautics where he received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Upon graduating, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 1952, completing single-engine jet fighter pilot training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1954.
After a brief stationing at George Air Force Base (AFB), California, Gordon was transferred to Bitburg AFB, Germany in 1956 where he flew the F-100C Super Sabre. While conducting aerial gunnery practice at Wheelus AFB in Libya, he met the love of his life, Margaret “Maggie” Anderson. Gordon and Margaret were married in Germany on March 28, 1960. At Bitburg AFB he flew combat alert missions on the NATO Defense Line against Soviet Block Forces in East Germany.
In December 1957, Gordon was selected to fly Left Wing for the United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) Aerial Demonstration Team (Skyblazers). He flew 107 official aerial demonstrations throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and as far east as the capital city of Tehran in Iran. During his time with the Skyblazers, he was forced to eject from his F100 aircraft on August 7th, 1959 when the flight controls became disabled. While waiting for the search and rescue team, he shared a brandy with a local German farmer. After his ejection, Gordon considered August 7th as his second birthday and celebrated it accordingly.
In April 1960 Gordon was transferred to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California. From May 1960 through November 1966 he had several duty assignments including Flight Test operations on the NATO German Air Force F104-G NATO aircraft, USAF MacDonald F-4C aircraft, and the Northrop F5 A/B aircraft. He also served as Chief of Quality Control for all aircraft and engine maintenance assigned to the military units at Edwards AFFTC. In 1965 he was selected to be the Chief of Maintenance on the Lockheed SR-71-YF12 Blackbird test program. For his distinguished performance, Gordon received his first Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious service. While at Edwards AFB, Gordon’s three children, Tim, Eric, and Kathy were born.
In December 1966 Gordon was selected to attend the British Royal Air Force Staff College in Bracknell, England. After graduating from the Staff College in 1967, Gordon was assigned to RAF Coltishall as a Squadron Commander of Lightning Aircraft. In December 1969 he was transferred to Southeast Asia where he served as an Aircraft Maintenance Staff Officer, Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, and then as Chief of Maintenance for a Combat Support Group in Thailand. Gordon received his second Oak Leaf Cluster for his distinguished performance in Asia.
In 1971 Gordon was assigned to the Pentagon Headquarters USAF Inspector General’s Office. He led a team that performed on-site inspections of aircraft maintenance and material functions, including management of USAF resources on a worldwide basis. For this distinguished performance, Gordon received his third Oak Leaf Cluster. He served in this position until August of 1971 when he was medically discharged from the Air Force.
After leaving the Air Force, Gordon was employed by the Wausau School District in Wisconsin where he served as the Attendance Director of Wausau East High School and then as the Supervisor of the Buildings and Grounds complex consisting of 15 different schools. He was a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hermann, Missouri and a Life Member of Disabled American Veterans, Wausau, Wisconsin. He was a 41-year member of the American Legion Post 10, Wausau, Wisconsin. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, skeet shooting, and golf when physically able. In later years he especially enjoyed meeting with friends at the Hiawatha lounge.
Gordon was preceded in death by his beloved wife Margaret. He is survived by his three children and their spouses.

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