Thomas H. Schoder
Mission 9 – October 16, 1944 – Target Tank Factories in Salbury Vienna, Austria –
Escort 40 P38s and 15 P51s – Enemy Fighters not encountered – Flak HEAVY - Load
8 500lb bombs – Altitude 24,500 ft. – Temp –28C – Flying time 8 hr 15 min. – Mission
accomplished! We were in range of 342 Flak Guns and hit about 25 times. Two pieces came through my turret.
Two engines blown away but by miracle we
made the island of Viz off of the Yugoslavian coast. 3 planes went down in target area, three more near Viz. We were very fortunate to get back. We were going to bail out but the Pilot
brought her in on two engines. We
discovered a large piece of Flak in the tire – why it didn't blow no one
knows. We took off from Viz with a new
1924 – 2005
God grant that I may fish until my dying day
And when it comes to my last cast;
I then most humbly pray-
When the Lord's safe landing net I'm peacefully asleep,
That in his mercy I'll be judged as
"BIG ENOUGH TO KEEP"
Longtime Alaskan and Homer resident died Sunday, Apr. 24, 2005 surrounded by his family
at his residence in Homer. He was 80.
A memorial mass will be 3:00 p.m. Wednesday at the St. John's Catholic Church
in Homer. The family is planning to bury his ashes at Hickerson Cemetery in
Mr. Schoder was born Nov. 5, 1924 in Battle Creek, Michigan as one of six
brothers. Raised in Michigan he was a graduate of St. Phillip High School and
Michigan State in Forestry. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army
Air Force as B-24 crew during World War II.
After his discharge from the military, Tom worked as a U.S. National Park
Ranger from 1949-57 in Yellowstone and Glacier NP. He worked for the U.S.
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation until 1964, when he began working for the U.S.
Bureau of Land Management until retirement in 1979. Tom moved his family to
Alaska in 1971 and resided in Anchorage and Homer.
He was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church parish in
Homer, where he often presided as a layperson. He received many commendations
and awards for his military service and from the Bureau of Land Management,
AARP and the Homer Senior Citizens Inc.
Tom loved fishing, being with his family, dogs and enjoyed only two types of
pie: hot or cold.
"Tom was a man of indomitable goodness and great faith. He showed endless
compassion for others, especially those less fortunate in the world. His rosy
cheeks and big, sweet smile were a treasure to all. His life was a model of a
life well-lived for his children, grandchildren and their spouses. He lived
honestly, generously and with good humor. His courage and kindness will serve
as a legacy. He was a devoted husband to Marilyn for more than 50 years,
leaving behind a bountiful wellspring of love and a strong Schoder clan."
his family said.
Mr. Schoder is survived by his wife, Marilyn Schoder of Homer; daughters and
sons-in-law, Ruthe and Bill Schoder-Ehri of Homer, Annie and Kelly Drake of
Austin, Texas, Mary and Jay Ver Hoef of Fairbanks; sons and daughters-in-law,
Michael Schoder and Anne Ver Hoef of Anchorage and Tim and Kay Schoder of
Makakilo, Hawaii; grandchildren, Gabriel Ehri and his wife, Bonnie of
Philadelphia, Colin Schoder-Ehri of Bloomington, Ind., Lars Schoder-Ehri of
Homer, Kelsey and Courtney Drake of Austin, Texas, Anastasia, Scyntha and
Charlotte Schoder of Makakilo, Hawaii and Lander and Mariah Ver Hoef of
Fairbanks; brothers, Merritt Schoder of Battle Creek, Mich. and John Schoder of
Horse Shoe, N. Carolina.
Memorial donations may be sent in Tom's name to Hospice of Homer, P.O. Box
4174, Homer, AK 99603 or to a favorite charity. Those wishing to send flowers
are asked to send perennial plants.
Link To Crew Information