Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0099
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Full Text of HJR0099  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, It is highly fitting that the Illinois General
3Assembly pays honor and respect to the truly great individuals
4who served our country and in doing so have gone above and
5beyond the call of duty to take part in truly heroic tasks; and
6    WHEREAS, Christian Frank Schilt was born March 19, 1895 in
7Richland County; he enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 23,
81917, and, as an enlisted man, he served at Ponta Delgada, in
9the Azores, with the 1st Marine Aeronautical Company, a
10seaplane squadron assigned to anti-submarine patrol during
11World War I; and
12    WHEREAS, Returning to the United States as a corporal,
13Christian Schilt entered flight training and was commissioned a
14second lieutenant on June 10, 1919; in October of that year, he
15began his first tour of expeditionary duty in Santo Domingo
16that was followed with an assignment at Port-au-Prince, Haiti
17the following August; in March of 1921, he was assigned to make
18an aerial survey and mosaic map of the coast line of the
19Dominican Republic; in November of 1926, he won second place in
20the Schneider International Seaplane Race at Norfolk flying a
21special Curtiss racer at a speed of 231.3 mph (372.2 km/h) over
227 laps of a triangular 50 km course; and



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1    WHEREAS, In November of 1927, now 1st Lieutenant Schilt was
2ordered to Managua, Nicaragua, where he joined Observation
3Squadron 7-M; the political climate in Nicaragua had rapidly
4changed during the summer of 1927 when Augusto C. Sandino and
5his followers, the Sandinistas, revolted against Nicaragua's
6Chamorro government; and
7    WHEREAS, The Sandinistas established their base on the
8Honduran border of northern Nicaragua; in December of 1927,
9Sandino with 1000 men ambushed an American Marine detachment of
10175 men, killing 8 and wounding 30; the marines fell back to
11Quilali where the Sandinistas lay siege to the village; with
12little hope of a breakout, plans were made for an air rescue;
13the marines in Quilali built a make-shift airstrip by burning
14and leveling part of the town to expand Quilali's main street
15from 100 to 500 feet; Observation Squadron 7 modified an O-2U-1
16Vought Corsair biplane with landing gear from a DeHavilland
17DH-4 for the expected hard landings; and
18    WHEREAS, As if oblivious to the cramped space he was
19entering, between January 6 and 8, 1928, Lt. Schilt took his
20Corsair on 10 trips into the embattled village, hauling in
211,400 pounds of medical supplies and evacuating 18 of the
22wounded Marines; since his O2U had no brakes, the marines on
23the ground stopped the biplane by grabbing the wings when it
24touched down; hostile fire on landings and take-offs, plus



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1low-hanging clouds, mountains, and tricky air currents, added
2to the difficulty of the flights; he was awarded the Medal of
3Honor for his flying skill combined with personal courage
4during the rescue of the Quilali Marines; and
5    WHEREAS, Christian Schilt continued his military career
6serving in both World War II and Korea; during World War II, he
7participated in the Guadalcanal campaign, the consolidation of
8Southern Solomons, and the air defense of Peleliu and Okinawa
9earning the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Distinguished
10Flying Cross, the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and 4 Air Medals;
11in Korea, he commanded the 1st U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft Wing
12from July of 1951 to April of 1952 earning the U.S. Air Force
13Distinguished Service Medal and his fifth Air Medal; he retired
14from the Marine Corps on April 1, 1957 when he was promoted to
15full general; and
16    WHEREAS, General Schilt passed away on January 8, 1987 at
17age 91, in Norfolk, Virginia, and was buried with honors in
18Arlington National Cemetery; and
19    WHEREAS, On October 21, 2011, a new headquarters building
20at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina
21was named in honor of General Schilt as a constant reminder of
22the example he set; and



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1    WHEREAS, It is highly fitting that the State of Illinois
2honor the memory and example set by Marine Aviator General
3Christian F. Schilt; therefore, be it
6SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we designate the section of U.S.
7Highway 50 one mile east of Illinois Route 130 to one mile west
8of Illinois Route 130 at Olney as the "Marine Aviator General
9Christian F. Schilt Memorial Highway"; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That upon completion of any unfinished sections
11of highway, the Illinois Department of Transportation is
12requested to erect at suitable locations, consistent with State
13and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs giving
14notice of the name; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
16presented the family of General Christian F. Schilt, the
17Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the
18Mayor of Olney.