WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls man who served our country from WWII is this week's Hero of Texoma.
Robert Smith Scheurer was 20 years old when Japan attacked the U.S. naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
He wanted to join the military at that moment, but his mother would not sign off papers allowing him to do so. So Scheurer headed to Midwestern State
University and took advantage of some opportunities that would later help him serve our country.
"The federal government was offering free flying training and so four or five of us guys, all friends, decided that was a pretty good deal so we enrolled in it," he said.
That training got Scheurer a private pilot's license, commercial license and an instructor rating all for free. With that new training, Scheurer joined the Army Air Corps following his 21st birthday.
"When the actual war hit I was already trained and I was one of thousands around the country," Scheurer said.
His training prior to enlisting gained him the rank of second lieutenant. He eventually made captain.
"It took a person like Bob and young men of that age to join up and fight because they could hardly wait to get there," longtime friend Cliff Henderson said.
Serving as an Army Air Corps pilot for four years, Captain Scheurer was deployed twice. Once to Africa and the Middle East and another time to Europe.
"The planes he flew for thousands of hours did not have instruments like we have (today). They had to fly in the clouds, above the clouds, and get down and land have enemies shooting at them," he said.
Although his time in the service was short he logged thousands of miles.
"I've figured I've either been in or flown over 56 or 57 different countries," he said.
Scheurer came back to Wichita Falls following his enlistment and was a prominent businessman until he retired in 2002. Today the 95-year-old spends his days golfing with friends.
If someone you know is deserving of the same recognition let us know. Send us an email to News@KAUZ.com. Include your contact information and any photos you may have. We will get in touch with you for further opportunities.
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6