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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Shelton, Lee M., 1916-1986



  • Existence: 1916-1986

Biographical Note: Lee M. Shelton

Lee Mereden Shelton served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and made a career in the U.S. Air Force, eventually earning rank of Colonel.

Shelton was born on August 16, 1916 in Watova, Oklahoma. He attended Nowata High School in Nowata, Oklahoma where he was a 4H club champion. After high school, he was a minor league baseball player and owned a Texaco service station.

In 1939 Shelton went through Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Testing and Qualification. On April 21, 1942, Shelton enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and served as a pilot during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with the Red Raiders Squadron. His nickname was "Pappy" because at 27 years old he was older than most of his squadron mates. He commanded a B-24 Liberator named "Daddy's Girl."

After the war he was stationed on Guam. Later he had a series of posts: a pilot instructor at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas; an Air Training Command staff officer at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; an instructor pilot for French Air Force exchange officers at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama; an Exchange Officer for the Canadian Defense Forces at Trenton Air Station, in Trenton, Ontario, Canada; serving with Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana; serving with SAC as an aircraft maintenance staff officer at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska; a Maintenance Squadron Commander with the Minuteman program at Vandenburg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California; Director of Aircraft Maintenance for SAC at Offutt Air Force Base. He retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force in August, 1969. Over his career he worked with Stearman, North American T-6 Texan, North American T-28 Trojan, Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, Cessna T-37 Tweet, North American T-39 Sabreliner, C-45 Expiditor, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, North American B-25 Mitchell, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

Shelton was married to Yolande Williams and they had two sons, William R. Shelton and Lee M Shleton II. He died on April 12, 1986 in Washington state and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Biographical information derived from collection materials and

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lee M. Shelton and George W. French World War II Collection

 Collection — Box: One
Identifier: 2003-07-25
Contents of the Collection The collection contains materials related to Lee M. Shelton and George W. French. Both men served during World War II, though in different military branches. Shelton was part of the Army Air Forces and his materials include photographs of military personnel and activities, such as inspections and navigational procedures; correspondence and a graduation announcement for Blythville Army Air Field. French served with the Navy and his materials include photographs of naval ships, including the...

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