||Lieutenant Colonel David F. Shontz
13 January 1988
A Fighter Pilot and friend
Steve Hopkins (Hoppy),
Feb 21, 2008 - 10:09 PM
Dave was flying on a 2v1 ACM hop with me at Torrejon AB, Spain that day. It was my annual tac check and he was the bandit against my 2-ship element. Prior to setting up the first engagement in LED-33, southeast of the base, Pegaso (GCI) said that his controller had lost radar contact with him. At the time we were doing our g-warmup exercises.
This was on a Wednesday, as I recall, and the Wing Commander was going to announce him as my new Operations Officer in the 612 TFS that Friday at commander's call. Although these announcements are supposed to be kept close hold, I had already told him, on New Year's Eve, that he was the choice. Even though he only knew about it for 2 weeks, I have always been glad I spilled it to him.
Dave was a true fighter pilots' fighter pilot. I will always feel his loss and wonder how awesome that squadron would have been with him as Ops O.
To Dad no.1
May 17, 2008 - 06:09 AM
It makes my heart smile to know you still think about him as much as I do. Thanks Dad no.2!
A Classy Fighter Jock
Ed Cole (Badger),
Oct 20, 2009 - 12:47 AM
I knew Dave at MacDill and TJ and enjoyed every moment I got to spend with him. What a classy guy. He was missed then, and I still think of him and miss him now.
The Best Man I Ever Knew
Jun 02, 2012 - 06:33 PM
It's been 24 years since I lost him, and I still miss him every single day. Even though he's not here, I see him in the kindness and caring of my two older children, Sean and Maggie, because their lives were touched for a while by David F. Shontz, Jr. I see him in the face of my youngest child, the son Dave never even knew was coming, who bears his father's name and legacy. David F. Shontz, III inherited so much from the father he never got to meet in terms of intelligence, looks, integrity, and the ability to make friends with ANYONE! David Shontz Jr. still lives...in my heart...every day...until I follow him home.
Missed but not forgotten
Doug Malloy (Porky),
Feb 06, 2013 - 10:22 PM
Dave and I were at Nellis together in the 428th TFS. He was a good friend and great pilot. We went to MacDill for F-4 IP school together and roomed at the local Holiday Inn. Years ago I heard about his accident and couldn't believe it. He was a great guy and is sorely missed.
A Good Leader and a Good Friend
Mar 18, 2013 - 09:27 PM
I met Dave in the 428th TFS at Nellis on my first assignment in the F-4D. He was a strong instructor, patient and kind. I'm glad I got to know him then and I've learned so much more about him from Hoppy Hopkins.
Best T38 instructor pilot and Stan Eval pilot ever!
Michael Patrick Halpin, LtCol USAF (retired),
Jan 19, 2019 - 10:26 PM
I will always remember my T38 formation checkride with Dave Shontz. In the summer of 1975, I was a 2nd Lt student pilot at Reese AFB, Texas near Lubbock. I was a little vexed by how fast everything seemed to occur when flying the T38, and I remember being a bit scared before taking to the sky one beautiful summer day on the high west Texas plains to have Dave check me out on my formation flying capabilities in the "white rocket". With me in the front seat and Dave in the back of our T38 that day, he immediately put me at ease, and I responded with a wonderful formation checkride, the best check I'd had in my entire USAF pilot training course to that date. I remember how I was so thankful for his encouragement and motivation that day. And I immediately thought that if I ever became a USAF instructor pilot (IP) myself, I wanted to emulate the teaching style of Dave. I went on to be an AWACS IP at Tinker AFB in the early 1980s, and there were a number of times when I remember modeling the encouragement I got from Dave with the pilots I taught. My wife Jennifer, and I, had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with Tanna after Dave's unfortunate passing when we all lived in Colorado Springs together. I will always be thankful to Dave for the way he both set me at ease and motivated me in my pursuit of USAF pilot's wings that day. Thanks Dave! I will always remember my T38 ride with you! Fond memories. Mike
Leave a comment
Note: Errors and omissions in the above text can be added here. Please note: your comments will be displayed immediately on this page.
If you wish to send a private comment to the webmasters, please use the Contact Us link.