McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

November 11, 2012

McAlester veteran, Dr. Thurman Shuller, a World War II hero

(Continued)

McALESTER —

”But even a limit of 20 which very few can actually reach, would be an invaluable morale factor in giving these men a least a small hope for the future and a goal for which to survive.”
Shuller cited Major General Ira Eaker in the report. 
“Of this I am certain and you can count upon it,” Eaker said. “A combat crew must be told what their combat expectancy is.
“And they must be told that when they have completed that period they will never again be required to man a combat crew station in an airplane on operations against the enemy.”
The letter apparently made a difference.
“Three weeks after my letter was mailed, an order was written setting 25 as the number of missions required before relief from combat duty,” Shuller said. “The crews were jubilant because they now had hope that they had a chance of survival.” 
Col. Putnam said in his commendation letter that Shuller “has always performed his duties in a superior manner without complaint or thought of reward. During nine months of combat in the European Theater of Operations the 306th Bombardment Group has had over 100 percent casualties among flying personnel. Many of the officers were close personal friends of Major Shuller.
“The esteem in which he is held by all combat crew members of the group is a tribute to his professional skill and sound kindly judgment.”
 
After war
Shuller returned to the United States in 1945 and was discharged with the rank of colonel. Six months later he married Joanna Carter. They raised four children and were together until her death June 22, 2010.
In 1948, he began his pediatric practice at the McAlester Clinic, later named the Warren Clinic. He retired in 1989.
 In 1969, Shuller received a letter signed by Col. B.E. Babcock of the Department of the Army office of the Adjutant General notifying him that he had completed the maximum years of commissioned service. 

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