The ACA recently learned of life member Colonel (Retired) Walter K. Schmidt’s induction into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame. We congratulate Colonel Schmidt and are please to present the citation content below for our readers:
Walter k Schmidt, Col, USAF, (Ret) has been selected for induction into Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame for valor on 5 November in Columbus, GA. The HOF objective is to publicly emphasize the honor brought to the state and nation by the sacrifice of Georgia military veterans and their families. It’s dual purpose is to honor our Georgia vets and educating young people as to who are our real heroes.
Col Schmidt’s career has been nothing but outstanding. He joined the 463rd Troop Carrier Wing at Clark AB flying 10 and then 15 day shuttles out of Tan Son Nhut AB Vietnam from January 1966 to June 1968 flying 481 days in Vietnam. On one of his Air Medals it was noted, he distinguished himself in Phu Yen Province flying day and night combat assault in hostile environment in deploying the 1st Cav, enabling them to trap and demoralize a major hostile force. It was also noted on one of his Distinguished Flying Crosses that he participated in aerial flight near A Loui, A Shau Valley in an extremely hazardous Tactical Emergency airdrop mission under adverse conditions to deliver ammunition to the beleaguered forcées in the valley. The outstanding skill and professionalism displayed by (then) Captain Schmidt in getting the load on target under adverse conditions exemplify the highest standards of tactical airlift. On his second tour at Nha Trang AB 1970-1971 in 15th/90th SpecialOperations Squadrons with Military Assistance Command – Studies and Observation Group (MACSOG); a highly classified multi-service United States special operations unit which conducted covert unconventional warfare operations, strategic reconnaissance, and physiological warfare operations against North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam. MACSOG was made up of Army Special Forces (green berets), Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Operators, Marine Force Recon and CIA operatives. On this tour Col Schmidt’s total time in country (Vietnam) now is 831 days to include 1801.6 hours combat time, 429 combat missions and 2214 combat sorties. Col Schmidt stayed within the Special Operations community for next 20 years; including a tour as Commander United States Air Forces Europe elite 7th Special Operations Squadron. As 21st AF, Director Special Operations and Special Activities, he was responsible for close hold planning and coordination of MAC airlift forces in night airdrop invasion of Panama. And as CAT director he directed all MAC assets; 12 C-130s deploying Rangers, 80 C-141s deploying 82nd Airborne Brigade and 11 C -5s hauling reinforcement supplies in the invasion of Panama in Operation Just Cause in December 1989, which has been described as most efficient and effective use of airlift in history. Colonel Schmidt is an extremely highly decorated officer to include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 cluster, Meritorious Service with 2 clusters, Air Medal with 16 clusters. Air Force Accommodation Medal, Army Accommodation Medal ((Air Liaison Officer to US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) Europe)), Air Force Presidential Award, Navy/Marine Presidential Award (26th Marines with a landing at Khe Sahn), Army Presidential Award (MACSOG), plus numerous other medals. Colonel Schmidt is also a parachutist, which he is very proud of, with 38 jumps, to include 6 as a Captain, 23 as a Major, 1 as a Lieutenant Colonel and 8 as a Colonel. Colonel Schmidt’s entire period of service of 28 years in the United States Air Force was nothing but professional in every aspect. These distinct accomplishments and professional competence, aerial skill, airmanship and devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Schmidt reflect great credit upon himself and United States Air Force. Colonel Schmidt has been married for 52 years to Monique (née Flocon) Schmidt. They have five children; Eric, Chantal, Annick, Brigitte, and Darya. Colonel and Mrs Schmidt have been extremely active in their local community affairs for all of their tours. He was inducted in to the Air Commando ( Special Operations) Hall of Fame in 2010. And this induction into Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of his career. Colonel Schmidt taught AF Junior ROTC at Cherokee High School for 12 years upon his retirement from the AF in 1990. He and his wife reside in the Soleil sub-division of Canton, GA.
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