Honoring Heroes or Politicians?
Updated: Mar 20
Will the Prescott Arizona Centennial Center be renamed for a local World War II hero or a local politician?
Prescott Arizona resident Elizabeth Bourgault told me that the city council is looking to either change the name to honor Major Frank Schiel, a Prescott native who became a WWII fighter ace flying in China. He was killed one year after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942 when his plane crashed into a mountain during a storm.
Family of a previous Prescott mayor are petitioning that the building be renamed in his honor.
The city council is accepting applications of support from anyone who wishes to weigh in one way or the other. The decision date is March 22, so any input needs to sent to them by this weekend.
This two minute video shows you how to do an online application to support Major Shiel's name.
Here is the information provided by Elizabeth that you can include in your application:
Major Frank Schiel, Jr.
PRESCOTT’S FORGOTTEN WWII LEGENDARY AVIATOR
Major Schiel grew up in Prescott from the age of three and attended Prescott Schools. He formed the 1st aeronautical Club in Junior H.S. He graduated in the Class of 1935 declining an appointment to West Point as he wanted to become a pilot.
President Roosevelt approved 100 volunteers to go to China to fight against Japanese aggression in WWII. Frank became a member of the American Volunteer Group known as the Flying Tigers. After destroying 7 Japanese planes he became an ACE.
After the AVG disbanded Frank was absorbed into the 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group and Commander of the 74th squadron. Frank flew over 200 reconnaissance missions and some of his photos of the Japanese aerodromes led to award winning missions..
He sacrificed his life for democracy, freedom and justice on 12/7/1942 when he crashed into a mountain returning from a reconnaissance mission during extremely bad weather. He was just 25 years old.
MILITARY MEDALS AWARDED TO MAJOR FRANK SCHIEL, JR.
FRANK WAS A HIGHLY DECORATED VETERAN
SILVER STAR -third highest military medal awarded specifically for bravery and exceptional service under fire. Frank was awarded this medal for evading enemy fighters and getting photographs of Hanoi on 9/13/42. These photographs enabled bombers to stage one of the most effective raids in the entire China Theater.
2 - DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSSES - This military medal is awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement related to flight.
1 - BRITISH DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS awarded by Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the U.S. on behalf of King George VI. This medal was awarded for “an act or acts of valor, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy.” He was one of only 8 members to receive it.
2 - of China’s highest military decorations - the CLOUD AND BANNER and the WING STAR MEDAL.
1 - PURPLE HEART - this medal awarded for wounds or loss of life.
CAMP SCHIEL, a magnificent rest camp for soldiers fighting in China was built in memory of our MAJOR FRANK SCHIEL.
Lets us remember this Prescott Hero by naming him to the Centennial Center. Thank You.