Korean War Pilot Who Landed Blind Dies at 83

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Kenneth Schechter, a Korean War pilot who landed his plane while blinded from a wound, has died. He was 83.

President Barack Obama, left, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel participate in a commemorative ceremony on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, near the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, on Saturday, July 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

LOS ANGELES Kenneth Schechter, a Korean War pilot who landed his plane while blinded from a wound, has died. He was 83.

His son, Rob Schechter, tells the Los Angeles Times that Schechter died on Dec. 11 in Fairfield, Calif. He had prostate cancer.

Schechter was a 22-year-old Navy pilot when a shell sent fragments into his eyes and blood running down his face during a 1952 mission.

Temporarily blinded, Schechter was talked down by a friend and fellow pilot, Howard Thayer. After 45 minutes, he made a safe belly-landing on a remote Army dirt strip.

Schechter permanently lost the use of his right eye. He left the Navy months after the flight and later became an insurance agent in the Los Angeles area.

In 1995, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.


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