County Judge Bob Hebert and Regional Director Jay Guerrero of Senator John Cornyn’s Office recognized the late Captain David Shumaker, a highly decorated member of the United States Army Air Forces, which was renamed the United States Air Force in 1947. Captain Shumaker entered the service out of high school in 1939 and later went on to attain the rank of 1stLieutenant as a pilot during the war, and worked his way up to Captain. He passed away of a heart attack in 1958, while serving on active duty in Germany. He was married to his wife Doris and they have five children named Sharon, Terry, David, Jay, and Kenneth.
When Captain Shumaker’s wife Doris passed away earlier this year, their children began reminiscing about their father and his service to our country. They were not aware of his record or many of the details surrounding his service. However, Sharon, the eldest child still had memories of her dad’s stories from WWII that led her to contact Senator Cornyn’s office to see if he could assist in obtaining her late father’s military records and any medals he may have received.
Senator Cornyn, as the son of an Air Force Pilot, has a strong commitment to military families and wanted to assist the family in locating the information on their father. His office worked with the Department of Defense to obtain Captain Shumaker’s service records and awards/medals for which he was eligible. He was a highly decorated veteran, and the office was surprised to find out he was awarded an impressive 16 medals during his career, including the:
- Purple Heart
- Prisoner of War Medal
- Air Medal
- Good Conduct Medal
- Presidential Unit Citation
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Campaign Medal with one bronze service star
- European–African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze service star with one silver service star
- World War II Victory Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp
- National Defense Service Medal
- Korean Service Medal
- Armed Forces Reserve Medal
- United Nations Service Medal
- Honorable Service Lapel button WWII
- Sharpshooter Badge with pistol bar
While doing research on his eligibility for these medals, it was discovered that there is a large possibility he was held in the same POW camp in Germany as 2ndLt. John Cornyn, Senator Cornyn’s father, who was also a B-17 pilot that was shot down.
Captain David Shumaker was a B-17 Pilot who flew 46 combat missions with the 301st Bombardment group based in Italy during World War II. He was shot down while flying his 46th mission, and was taken as a Prisoner of War for seven months. He flew in the following campaigns during WWII:
- North Apennines
- Air Combat – Balkans
- Northern France
- Air Offensive – Europe
- Southern France
Captain Shumaker’s family attended Commissioners Court and received his military records and medals, a wonderful keepsake and an exceptional remembrance of their father.