CAPT. GEORGE SCHLUTER
George R. Schluter was born January 8, 1920, the son of Fred W. and Elva Schluter. He grew up on West Dean Avenue and graduated from East High School in 1938. As a civilian, he worked as a mechanic at Hunk’s Standard Service on Monona Drive as well as Schultz Tire and Battery Company in Madison. He entered military service on November 7, 1941 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois and took pre-flight courses at Maxwell Field, Alabama. On January 7, 1944, Schluter was commissioned as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot at George Field in Lawrenceville, Illinois. He was very proud of this accomplishment. After completing advanced flight training at Westover, Massachusetts, he was sent overseas. On June 18, 1944, he joined the 93rd bomber group of the Eight Air Force, stationed in England. He participated in the strategic bombing of enemy factories, oil refineries, chemical plants, and cities in Germany. Throughout the war, the 93rd bomber group flew more missions than any other B-24 Liberator unit and was awarded 16 campaign ribbons and two Distinguished Unit Citations.
In late 1944, Schluter’s plane was severely damaged during a mission. He managed to make a crash-landing in neutral Switzerland where he convalesced for a short time. Before long he returned to the skies because bomber pilots were sorely needed. In January 1945, he went on a bombing mission behind enemy lines and never returned. At first, Schluter was reported missing. Several months later, his parents received word that he and his six-man crew had been shot down and killed over Dortmund, Germany on January 28, 1945. He had been promoted to captain just a month before his death. He was 25 years old. Capt. Schluter was the only serviceman from Monona who was killed in World War II. In the years following the war, the former site of the Tonyawatha Springs Hotel (4500 block of Winnequah Road) was developed into a lakefront recreational facility and named Schluter Park in his honor.