Lafayette — Lt. Col. (ret.) Gerald Duane “Dewey” Scheufler died Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at Lafayette’s IU Health Hospital.
He was born June 16, 1924, in Ellinwood, Kan., to Alfred G. and Clara Dannebohm Scheufler. At Ellinwood High School, he was active in 4-H, wrestling and football. After graduation at the age of 16, Dewey worked in the oil fields for a year. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and during World War II, he served as a gunner’s mate on an LST (Landing Ship Tank) in the Pacific Theater.
After World War II, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education from Colorado State University in 1950. Dewey belonged to Sigma Nu, played guard on the CSU football team, and was selected Cadet Colonel of his Army ROTC detachment. As a sophomore, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the newly formed U.S. Air Force
On Dec. 25, 1950, he married his college sweetheart, Norma June Ellis, in Dodge City, Kan. After 58 years of marriage, she died on Nov. 4, 2009.
Lt. Scheufler completed Undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT) in Houston, and was assigned to Griffiss AFB, Rome, N.Y., where his B-29 crew flew test flights establishing the DEW radar system spanning the US-Canadian border. His crew was selected to fly for well-known journalist Edward R. Murrow over New York City to demonstrate the United States’ vulnerability to a Soviet attack. The crew held on to the cameraman as he leaned out the bomb bay door when they flew over the Empire State Building. CBS Evening News later aired this footage. Upon landing, Mr. Murrow personally thanked Lt. Scheufler and the rest of the crew.
He then served in Korea with the 90th “Pair-of-Dice” Bomb Squadron, flying B-26s in low-level combat missions behind enemy lines at night. Lt. Scheufler was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and exceptional service and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.