McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

November 11, 2012

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

McALESTER — As war raged in Europe during World War II, U.S. pilots flying in endless bombing missions had little hope of surviving their tour of duty until a young flight surgeon intervened.

Dr. Thurman Shuller of McAlester, 98, says his service as World War II U.S. Army Flight Surgeon happened as a stroke of “extraordinary good luck.”
In 1943, at the age of 29, Shuller had risen through the ranks in 28 months from first lieutenant to captain to major to lieutenant colonel — as chief flight surgeon of the First Air Division of the 8th Air Force.
“I was among the first to go into England and the among the last to leave,” Shuller said. 
Of his rise through the ranks Shuller said, “That could have only happen during the explosive expansion of the Army Air Corps during the years 1942 to 1944 ... and having had the extraordinary good luck of being at the right place at the right time.”
Born and raised on a working farm in Arkansas, Shuller said he received his primary education in a two-room school house before attending high school in Ozark, Ark., and then graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in 1939.
In 1939, he joined the Army Medical Corps Reserve after graduating from medical school. 
 
One year, or five
“With war raging in Europe, it seemed the practical thing to do was to spend one year of service in the Army,” Shuller said. He was assigned as a first lieutenant to the Air Corps Gunnery School in Las Vegas, Nev., as a general physician. 
Shuller said five months later, “Pearl Harbor extended my one year of active duty assignment to nearly five years.”
He said he took the advice of another doctor at the Las Vegas base and applied to the School of Aviation Medicine. He was also advised to pay attention to the promptness, accuracy and appearance of all his reports. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.