Asa William Shuler was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1922. As a child, flying greatly interested him. While attending college in Florida, Shuler was a part-time waiter. With this job, he paid for flying lessons to fulfill his childhood dream.
Shuler joined Jan. 30, 1943, just over a year after the United States had entered World War II. He graduated from flight school in 1944 and received a commission and pilot’s wings. He began his service at the rank of second lieutenant.
Directly after, Shuler deployed to England with the 9th Air Force, 362nd Fighter Group, 377th Fighter Squadron. His role as a pilot was to support the ground advance of the U.S. Army.
On March 18, 1945, Shuler flew from Etain, France, to Germany in a P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt that had been nicknamed “Battlen Beanie II.” Shuler’s mission was to destroy German tanks so American soldiers could advance on the ground. He successfully hit a tank and was making a third attempt at targeting another tank. Shuler flew into the tank, destroying it. He died in the crash at the age of 22.
Two days later, Shuler’s body was recovered and was buried in the Luxemburg American cemetery located near the town of Hamm, Luxembourg. In 1948, Shuler’s body was returned to the U.S. by his family’s request, and he was reburied with full honors in his hometown of Hamilton, Ohio.
We honor his service.
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Writer: Rachel Hoak
Editor: Julia Pack
Fact checker: Ormina Naveed