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Raymond Richard Schumacher (15 Apr 1924 Chicago - 04 Nov 1973 Oak Lawn,IL) served in the Army Air Force during World War II, played as a fullback for the Chicago Bears after the war, and later worked as civil engineer for the City of Chicago.

History

Early Life

Born in Chicago, Raymond R. Schumacher attended Tilden Technical High School, studying engineering, and was awarded the Purdue Club's 1942 Kizer MVP Award in football. He then attended Purdue University.

WWII

He was first inducted February 17, 1943 into the US Army and went to basic training in North Carolina, where his bunkmate was Charles Clark. Others in his group included Wally Kokockis (Cicero Kid), Sgt. Nelphi, Sgt.(Porky) Thorton, Charles Clark, Jack Sather from Berkeley CA, Jimmie Spallus from Wisconsin, and Ray Shaw. All then went on to Janesville Wisconsin for flight training.

Ray Schumacher later was based at:

  • Hondo Texas for navigator training, and served as an instructor afterwards
  • Miami
  • Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa about 7/43
  • Lincoln, Nebraska where he trained navigators until mid-1945
  • Victorville, Ca.
  • Tinian

Early in his training he accepted an Argus camera as payment for a debt, and used it to take hundreds of photos of US Army training camps and around the Pacific theater, including the atomic bomb waiting on the runway on Tinian. Near the end of the war B-29 crews did not always have exclusive use of a plane but rotated with another crew; his plane assigned while stationed on Tinian was known to have nose art of a lady and a name, but the number is unknown.

He flew in the formation over the treaty signing on the Missouri, was finally stationed in Tokyo until January 1946, and officially released March 17, 1946.

Final rank: First Lieutenant, Navigator, 20th AF, 313th Bomb Wing, 504th Bomb Group (Circle-E). Service: 17 February 1943 - 17 March 1946, #02068876

Football

He was All-City in Chicago and won the Kizer award in 1942, then played one year at Purdue before enlisting in the Army Air Force and subsequently played for the Hondo Air Field team in Hondo, TX. Upon returning home, Ray played for the Akron Bears before George Halas signed both Raymond and his brother Harold to the Chicago Bears at the same time. He played in the 2 Aug 1947 College Football All-America Team vs Chicago Bears which set the record attendance (105,840) for American football. He went on to play two seasons as fullback before retiring with knee and other injuries. There had been some friction between Halas and Ray as well; Ray owned a garage with his brothers, and Halas did not like his players to have "outside" jobs.

Professional Life

Ray spent most of the rest of his life as a civil engineer for the City of Chicago, responsible for planning on the Deep Tunnel Project and others in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. He also owned and operated Parkview Lanes Bowling Alley with two of his brothers and a small farm in Pepin County Wisconsin.

See also

External links

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