Schilt, Christian Franklin

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Schilt, Christian Franklin, born 19-03-1895, in Richland Count, Illinois, after attending Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana, he enlisted in the Marine Corps  23-06-1917. As an enlisted man he served at Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, with the 1st Marine Aeronautical Company , a seaplane squadron assigned to anti-submarine patrol. This was the first organized American air unit of any service to go overseas during World War I. Returning to the United States as a corporal, he entered flight training at the Marine Flying Field, 457px-Schilt_Christian_1stLt_USMC_1925_H45854  Miami, Florida. He was designated an aviator 05-06-1919, and commissioned a second lieutenant five days later. That October, he began his first tour of expeditionary duty as a member of Squadron “D,” Marine Air Forces, 2nd Provisional Brigade in Santo Domingo. He returned to the United States in February 1920, to enter the Marine Officers Training School, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. He was awarded by President Coolidge with the Medal of Honor  for heroism from 6 to January 8, 1928, 471px-Schilt_Christian_1stLt_USMC_CalvinCoolidge_1928_NH45819  at Quilali, Nicaragua, where two Marine patrols were ambushed and cut off by bandit forces. Graduating from the tactical school in June 1934, Schilt began another four years at Quantico, where he was Air Officer on the Staff of the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force , and later a squadron commander with Aircraft One, Fleet Marine Force. He then served from May 1938 to June 1940, as Executive Officer of the Marine Corps Air Station St. Thomas (MCAS St. Thomas), Virgin Islands. After that he returned to Quantico to complete the Senior Course in the Marine Corps Schools and serve with Base Air Detachment 1, Fleet Marine Force. He left Quantico in May 1941, when he was assigned to the American Embassy in London, United Kingdom, as an Assistant Naval Attaché for Air. In that capacity he traveled through England and Scotland and served as a naval observer in North Africa and the Middle East. He returned to the United States in August 1941, and was assigned to Quantico as Engineer and Supply Officer of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. In September 1942, he arrived on Guadalcanal as Assistant Chief of Staff, 1st Marine Air Wing. After that he was commander of Marine Aircraft Group 11, Chief of Staff of the 1st Wing and Commanding Officer of the Strike and Search Patrol Commands, Solomon Islands. He returned to the United States in September 1943, and commanded Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, until March of the following year. From April to June 1944, Schilt headed the 9th Marine Aircraft Wing Posted Image during the organization of that unit. He then served for six months as Chief of Staff of the wing and for another month as its commander before returning to the Pacific theater in February 1945. This time he was Island Commander, Peleliu, from March to August 1945, and Commanding General, Air Defense Command, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, nickname “2nd MAW” File:USMC - 2MAW.png, on Okinawa until October 1945, when he took command of the 2nd Wing. Returning from Okinawa in March 1946, the General reported to the Naval Air Station Glenview, Illinois, the following month. There he headed the Marine Air Reserve Training Command until July 1949, when he was ordered to Naval Station Norfolk as Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. He served in that capacity until he took command of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea in July 1951. In April 1952, Schilt returned from Korea to serve in Hawaii as Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, until February 1953 when he became Commanding General, Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. He left El Toro in July 1955, and assumed his duties at Headquarters Marine Corps as Director of Aviation on 01-08-1955, as a Lieutenant General. He served in this capacity until retirement from the Marine Corps on 01 -04-1957, when he was promoted to full General.

Death and burial ground of Schilt, Christian Franklin.

    General Christian Schilt died on 08-01-1987, at the old age of 91, in Norfolk, Virginia, and was buried with his wife Elizabeth, born Weber, who died age 82, on 15-07-1985, with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2E.
   CF Schilt Gravesite PHOTO

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