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First Name: David

Last Name: Schlatter

Birthplace: Fostoria, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Myron

Date of Birth: 21 November 1901

Date of Death: 14 December 1973

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
David Myron Schlatter

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


David Myron Schlatter
Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force

David Myron Schlatter was born on 21 November 1901 in Fostoria, OH. He entered the U.S. Military Academy on 11 June 1919 and graduated on 12 June 1923, at which time he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He entered the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, TX, on 12 September 1923 and then attended the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX, (where he also completed a Pursuit Course) until 12 September 1924, when he graduated.

Schlatter then returned to Brooks Field as a Flying and Ground School Instructor until October 1927, when he went to March Field, CA, also as a Flying and Ground School Instructor. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 6 March 1928. Schlatter was transferred with the Seventh Observation Squadron to France Field, Panama Canal Zone, in March 1929, where he served as Operations Officer and Adjutant. In July 1931, he returned to March Field as an Instructor and that October went to Randolph Field, TX, in that capacity. He enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, AL, in August 1936 and graduated the following June.

Next assigned to Godman Field, Fort Knox, KY, Schlatter served as Operations and Intelligence Officer of the 12th Observation Squadron. He entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS, in September 1938 and graduated in June 1939. He was then assigned as Senior Instructor, II Section, Air Corps Advanced Flying School, at Kelly Field and was later made Director of Flying Training. In July 1940, Schlatter went to Moffett Field, CA, as Director of Training, West Coast Air Corps Training Center; he later became the Center's Executive Officer. *

* Side Story 1

While serving as Director of Training at the West Coast Air Corps Training Center in 1940, Major Schlatter was tasked with flying around the Southwest looking for airfields at which to establish aerial gunnery schools. When Schlatter climbed out of his aircraft in Las Vegas on 1 October 1940, it was to discuss establishing an aerial gunnery school. Las Vegas was attractive with its clear skies and year-round flying weather and the then-impoverished city was eager for a military base. On 2 January 1941, the city bought an airstrip run by Western Air Express, the plan being to use the strip for both military and civilian aircraft. Three days later, the airstrip and 160 acres in Las Vegas were leased to the Air Corps. Schlatter's mission was a success.

Today, Nellis Air Force Base is an installation of the Air Combat Command and is the location of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center; a major training location for both U.S. and foreign military aircrews. The base is named for William Harrell Nellis, a Las Vegas resident and Army Air Force P-47 pilot who died in action during the Battle of the Bulge. The main base now covers approximately 11,300 acres; sixty-three percent of it is undeveloped, while the remaining area is either paved or contains structures. As a result of its varied roles, Nellis is home to more squadrons than any other Air Force Base.

In February 1942, Schlatter was assigned as Director of Air Support, Office of the Director of Military Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington, DC. A year later, he was made Deputy Chief of Staff of the Flying Training Command, Fort Worth, TX, and that year he also became a Student at the Army and Navy Staff College in Washington. After graduation, he returned to the Flying Training Command at Fort Worth as Acting Chief of Staff.

Schlatter was designated as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Ninth Air Force, England, in January 1944. Then, in August 1944, he was named Deputy Senior Air Officer and Chief of Operations, Allied Expeditionary Air Force, England and France; later that month, he and the advanced echelon moved to Normandy, France. Upon establishment of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Paris in October 1944, Schlatter was assigned as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and Commanding General of the U.S. Component, Air Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) until the end of the year. At this time, he took on added duty as Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, at St. Germain-en-Laye, France.

Upon his return from Europe in 1945, Schlatter accomplished the initial organization planning for the new Army Air Forces School at Maxwell Field, AL, and assumed command as its Acting Commandant. When the Air University was established in early 1946, he became Deputy Commanding General for Education.

** Side Story 2

The job of opening and commanding a new Army Air Forces School (AAF) at Maxwell Field, AL, was given to General Muir Fairchild in late August or early September of 1945. The first war college course was scheduled to begin in early September 1946. But, because Fairchild was unable to take the job of Commandant until relieved from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 1945, an Acting Commandant would have to be appointed. General's Eaker and Vandenberg agreed that Fairchild should have the choice of the best people available for administrators and instructors, but of course, other commands also wanted them. Fairchild asked that General David Schlatter, his former Director of Air Support at the Department of Military Requirements, be his Vice Commandant and Acting Commandant until Fairchild could take full-time command. General Joe Cannon, Schlatter's boss, initially said "no" to the reassignment because he thought it was something for the "boys in the backroom [in Washington] to do." General Hap Arnold convinced him otherwise. In September, Schlatter was reassigned and assumed command of the AAF School on 8 November 1945.

General's Eaker, Vandenberg, and Fairchild agreed that the Air War College was the most important course at the AAF School. It would set the tone and establish the reputation for AAF's system of educating its officers generally. Schlatter, as Acting Commandant, was assigned to help construct the curriculum for the Command and Staff school (which was to open in September 1946), as well as recruit the necessary instructors and staff personnel to run the entire AAF program. General Schlatter did an outstanding job.

In July l948, Schlatter was named senior Air Force member of the Military Liaison Committee, Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, and Deputy Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington (principal advisor to Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, through the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, on military application of atomic energy).

When Schlatter became Commanding General of the Research and Development Command, Washington, in February 1950, he began to organize this new command. In October, he moved the command to Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Weeks later, he took on the added duty of Director of Research and Development (he was relieved of the extra duty in March l951). In June of '51, the headquarters was moved to Baltimore, MD, and Schlatter relinquished command on 19 June. His next assignment was as Commanding General of the Allied Air Forces in Southern Europe, based in Florence, Italy; the headquarters was moved to Naples, Italy, in June 1953.

In April 1954, Schlatter was designated Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College, in Norfolk, VA. He assumed that duty on 1 July and remained there until he retired from active duty on 31 July 1957.

Schlatter was rated a Command Pilot, Combat Observer and Aircraft Observer.

Medals and Awards
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal
British Commander and Order of the British Empire
French Commander, Legion of Honor
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau, Degree of Grand Officer with Swords
Italian Order of Merit, Degree of Grand Officer
Greek Order of Phoenix, Degree of the Grand Cross


In 1977, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, named one of its streets, Schlatter Drive, in his memory.


David Schlatter married Lorraine Bartrand Wicks of San Antonio, TX, and they had two children; a son, David Myron Schlatter, Jr. (USMA Class of 1951); and a daughter, Anne Elizabeth Schlatter.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General David Myron Schlatter died on 14 December 1973 in San Antonio, TX. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.

Honoree ID: 3303   Created by: MHOH




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