Leonard John SchoeppnerLieutenant
VF-21, CVW-2, USS RANGER
United States Navy
02 October 1943 - 09 March 1970
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The database page for Leonard John Schoeppner
Jack Schoeppner was my friend. We served in VF-21 together from mid-1968 until he was lost on March 9, 1970. Everyone knew him as "Chops". He was the kind of guy whose personality stood out in a crowd and I don't think there was another pilot in the air wing who didn't know who he was. I first saw him, probably in September 1967, at Chase Field in Beeville, Texas. He was in Advanced Jet training. He didn't know me then but I remembered him.
The day he was lost I was also airborne and remember doing a radar search to see if I could spot his plane. As we would find out later, he and his RIO Rex Parcels were gone by then.
In the summer of 1969 Chops and I took a backpacking trip together in the High Sierra of California. We covered about 49 miles around the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park. We did some fishing and had a great time. I remember the pictures he took on that trip. He was a pretty darn good photographer. That was my first and last time backpacking with Chops. Since then I have returned to the Sierra to climb and hike many times and often I remember that special time I had with Chops.
I miss you buddy. I will never forget.
From a friend and shipmate,
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 09 March 1969 a VF-21 F-4J (BuNo 155775) crewed by LT Leonard J. Schoeppner and LTJG Rex L. Parcels launched on a photo recon escort mission. The photo recon run was cancelled due to very poor weather, and LT Schoeppner was directed to join with another squadron aircraft for his secondary BARCAP mission. Schoeppner checked in overhead the ship at 17,000 feet but radio and radar contact was lost shortly thereafter and not regained.
Despite a massive search by air and surface units no trace was found of the F-4J or its two crewmen.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 01/23/2011