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September 14, 1978


PIX #1 - Brigadier General

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is another in the series of articles that will appear from time-to-time about people who grew up in Fostoria and experienced successful careers in their chosen profession.

Brigadier General George Fletcher Schlater was born in Fostoria, November 25, 1905.

He graduated from Fostoria High School in 1925 and attended Ohio Wesleyan University in 1926 for one-half year before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from West Point with a bachelor of science degree in 1930 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army.

General Schlatter received his wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in October 1931. His Air Force career for the next ten years was principally as a fighter pilot at Selfridge Field, Michigan, and as a flying instructor and flight commander at Randolph Field, Texas, and Maxwell Field, Alabama.

Assigned to the office of the chief of the air corps in Washington D.C. in May 1941, General Schlatter served there as chief of pilot training during the fateful days of the beginning of World War II.


There followed a tour of duty in the Air Force Flying Training Command at Fort Worth, Texas, and assignment as commandant at Stewart Field, flight facility for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His additional duty as the air member of the Academic Board permitted the closest possible coordination of the academic and flying schedules for the cadets during their much shortened three year course at the Academy.

For his outstanding work during the period of February 1942 and March 1943, which was the time of the great and rapid expansion of the Army Air Forces, General Schlatter was awarded the Legion of Merit.

General Schlatter's overseas World War II assignment was with the Twelfth Tactical Air Command in Europe where he served as and chief of staff.

During his wartime duty...although a senior staff officer...the general flew 15 combat missions in F-47 fighter aircraft on dive bombing sorties and fighter sweeps with various units of the 12th TAC that won him the Air Medal and the Distinguished Unit Badge.

Among other experiences, his P-47; squadron met a ME-262 German jets in aerial combat. As General Schlatter said later: "That German was as poor a shot as I was; we both missed". The envy of many young fighter pilots who had never encountered a German jet in combat, he would willingly have traded places.


Following his return to the United States in 1947, General Schlatter served at Randolph Air Force Base, until his selection in 1948 to attend the National War College where he graduated in 1949.

His next assignment, bringing into play his early science and engineering training, was to the military staff of the Atomic Energy Commission where he served as chief of the full scale weapons test activities for three years. The Neyeda test site was organized and Eniwetok Proving Ground was built during his tour of duty.

From 1952 to 1953, he was staff director of all flying and technical training for the Air Force during the Korean expansion.

In 1955, the general was named commander of the 2nd Air Division and chief of the military assistance advisory group in Saudia Arabia. In this assignment, he covered the entire Middle East with his transport crews, supplying other U.S. MAAG's and missions.


In 1960 he returned to Bolling AFB, D.C. to retire after more than 35 years of military duty as cadet and officer.

He earned his master's degree in teaching mathematics at Duke University between July 1960 and July 1961.

He became resident director of the Patrick Branch of Rollins School of General Studies in 1961, the position he occupied at Patrick Air Force Base until 1970, when he again retired. Rollins College awarded him the Rollins Gold Medal of Honor for his work at Patrick AFB.

General Schlatter and his wife Eleanor are the parents of two daughters... Judith M. Fogle and Susan E. Cheshire. His brother Lt. General David M Schlatter, USAF is deceased.

General Schlatter and his wife reside in Melbourne, Florida, as does his sister, Mildred and husband...Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Chesley, former Fostorians too.

When General Schlatter did finally retire he accepted appointment to the Brevard (County) Community College Board of Trustees in 1970 and reappointment in 1974 as chairman of the board...retiring from it earlier this year, at which time he was honored with a dinner and salute for his service.

He is also active in his church, St. John's Episcopal, of which he is treasurer and vestryman.


In high school George Schlatter was active in extra-curricular activities in addition to carrying college prep courses.

He was on the debate team in his senior year, as well as the senior class play. He was in Jack Wainwright's high school band for three years and in the orchestra for two years.

General Schlatter came from a well-liked and respected Fostoria family. His father George and uncle Dan Schlatter operated a meat market in Fostoria for many years at North Main Street, in the building that burned out more than a year ago.

Mildred Schlatter, his sister was a fine musician and in later years involved in human engineering work.

His one aunt was Mrs. Lester (Helen) Cadwllader and another aunt, Ange Cole, was society editor of the Fostoria Review for many years.

The Schlatter family resided at the southwest corner of Center and Wood Streets.

Fostorian Ira Cadwallader is a cousin of General Schlatter.


Remnants of Steam Rail Removed...

Since writing about removing the final roadbed of the LE & W, Willis Wiley has called to my attention a date published in the Lake Erie and Lousiville R.R. Directory of 1869, in the Hayes Library, Fremont.

According to the directory the railroad was organized 1853 under the name of The Fremont and Indiana Railroad Co. By 1861, 37 miles of the railroad were completed from Fremont through Fostoria to Findlay.

Then in 1862, the railroad came into posession of new interests and was known as the Fremont, Lima and Union Railroad Co. In 1865, the interests of the railroad and that of the Lake Erie and Pacific Railroad Co. were consolidated under the name of the Lake Erie and Louisville, which is the point at which the story of Sept. 7 started.

The old directory pointed out that ..."Fremont, the north-eastern terminus of the road, is situated at the head of the navigation of the Sandusky River, at which point a steam elevator and capacious warehouses furnish abundant means for the handling of storage of grain and other freights. A junction is also formed at Fremont with the Lake Shore Railway".

Fostoria's C.W. Foster was vice president of the railroad.

During those days, Kansas was a thriving village with a church, three stores, saw mill, stave factory, wagon shop, furniture manufacturer, marble shop, post office.

Amsden, Jackson and Winters Station were also established along the railroad and doing well.


Since the publication of that story I have been informed that Thomas Burke, father of John Burke, was one of the glassworkers that was also active in the industry during the boom days in Fostoria, N.Y., also an important glass center then.

I have also learned that Jud Rinebold, salesman at Gray Printing Co., at one time handled more glass factory accounts than any other printing salesman in the U.S., since it so happens that more glass factories were concentrated in his territory in Ohio, West virginia, and Pennsylvania. Gray Printing published many beautiful glassware catalogs in times past.

In recent times when Ohio Farmers were excavating for building purposes they uncovered a quantity of unbroken glass salt and pepper shakers, as well as many shards from the glass factory that was located there.


That story brought a letter to Harry Stoneberger from USWV headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he had sent a copy of the article. The letter commented among other things, that "the article was well done and one that a lot of people should have noted".


That story brought a letter from Chessie Systems public relations in Cleveland: "Thank you for sending along the tear sheets of the stories in the Fostoria Review Times. I am sure that the stories brought out the people and we are grateful".


Frank J. Kinn, president, said in letter "I wanted to tell you that I very much enjoyed your feature stories on The Commercial Bank. The stories were presented with great style, a touch of the personal and a sense of history related to the people who made it and lived it. My family was especially pleased with the story as it brought back memories and created as well, as sense of pride".


Ford's public relations head Arnold S. Hirsch said in a letter - "Thank you for sending along copies of the articles and photos on Ford Motor Company's 75th Anniversay. We appreciate the excellent coverage. Thanks for your efforts and your interest"

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