Freedom Fighters: Jack Shadle - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Jack Shadle

By Joan Hallmark

Jack Shadle flew his first combat mission in World War Two at the age of nineteen.

On his second combat mission, the young navy torpedo plane gunner grew up fast when his plane was shot down during a bombing mission over New Guinea.

32 seconds between life and death for Shadle and his crewmates.

The problem was that the dazed pilot, who had suffered a head wound in the crash, was out on the plane's wing on the wrong side.

With the life raft on the other side, Shadle dragged the pilot around the plane, inflated the raft and put him inside.

   Shadle tried to find the other two men of the Avinger's four man crew, but the plane sank before he could locate them.

Although Shadle was to see many deaths later, the loss of the two crewmen haunts him to this day.

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