Dale Norman Schlichting beat the draft board by enlisting in the Navy the day after his 17th birthday on August 15, 1933. Since the chief recruiting office thought Dale would be a good fit as an electrical maintenance technician, he went to his favorite high school teacher and asked him how he could prepare to take the Eddy Test. Beginning in 1950, Norman Schlichting’s training included Aviation Airmen Prep School in Memphis in addition to learning to become a cook. Throughout his time in training, he decided he wanted to become a radiomen or tail-gunner, but the military ended this program because too many troops were getting killed. After his first leave during Christmas after 16 months of training, he spent the rest of his time in Florida with the long-lived and much respected VA-35 Attack Squadron AD (A-1) as an electronic technician. This was the only propeller aircraft still being used during the Vietnam War. As the Korean War was coming to a “close,” the military decided to cut everyone’s enlist time by 2 months even though Dale Schlichting was set to be discharged the day before his 21st birthday.
Enlisting as a 17 Year Old
Dale Schlichting chose to join the Navy the day after he turned 17 years old. He prepared and studied for the Eddie Test for electronics with help from his favorite high school teacher. Dlae Schlichting chose the Navy since everyone in his neighborhood was active in this branch and he also wanted to follow after his relatives in the Navy.
Training, Training, and More Training!
Dale Schlichting didn't know that he could get a guarantee to go to ET (Electrical Training) School so that he could get into aviation by spending 8 weeks there. Then he went to mess cooking for 5 school. After that, he went 29 weeks Aviation Electrician Technician School and he wanted to be a tailgunner, but that job was closed.
After 16 months of training, Dale Schlichting was sent to Florida to join Attack Squadron 35. The only propeller aircraft that was still being used in the Korean and Vietnam War was worked on by Dale and this made his so proud. He was supposed to be dismissed from the military two months early, but he wanted to stay with his squadron to travel the world. If was left behind with 13 of this squad mates because Squadron 35 wouldn't be back to their base by the time Dale Schlichting would have to leave.
Role of an Electronics Technician During Korean War
Dale Schlichting was an electronics technician during the Korean War with Attack Squadron 35. The AD (carried 22,000 pounds of supplies), Corsair, and P52 Army aircraft were his favorite planes to work on for the Army and Air Force. He had to crawl under the planes to work on and inside, and he loved it since it was very hot in the Florida heat on the tarmac.