James Edward Schall, Jr.
27 Aug 1936 - 4 Feb 1999
Place: Abingdon, MD
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery
Class Memorial Pages\E-1 Jim Schall.pdf
James Edward Schall, Jr., was born in Nashville,
TN, the second of nine children. When Jim was young, his family moved from
Tennessee to Buffalo, NY. When Jim was 16, the family moved to Aiken, SC.
Jim graduated from St. Angela’s Academy in Aiken, and after attending Clemson
University for one year, he received a congressional appointment to West
Point and joined the Class of 1961.
|Jim met his future bride, Judy, in 1960, and
the two married in July 1961. After attending the Field Artillery Basic
Course at Ft. Sill, the Defense Missile Course at Ft. Bliss, and Airborne
School at Ft. Benning, Jim was assigned to the 2d Battalion of the 82d
Artillery, a Corporal Missile Battalion in Kitzingen, Germany. While there,
he was the battalion S-2, an extremely sensitive job, considering “nucs”
were stored right around the corner. Jim handled that position with utmost
professionalism and deliberation but always was ready for a laugh when
it was time to “turn off” the serious stuff. He coordinated the arrival
of the Honest John Rocket Battalion, replacing the Corporal Battalion.
|During that time, his first two children were
born, son James III in September 1962 and daughter Sandra in September
1963. Orders in December 1964 brought Jim and his family back to Ft. Sill,
where his third child, David, was born in March 1965. Jim attended the
Field Artillery Career Course, followed by the Guided Missiles Systems
Officer Course at Ft. Bliss. While at Ft. Bliss, orders came for Viet Nam.
Before leaving, Jim attended the Defense Language Institute at Ft. Ord,
and the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg. He was an
advisor with MACV in Go Cong, Viet Nam, from January 1966 to January 1967.
During that year, the family lived in Aiken, SC, where, one day, Judy received
a letter from USMA stating a captain discovered Jim’s West Point class
ring on the finger of a Vietnamese in a Saigon bar. He bought it back for
the equivalent of $20, and returned it to the Academy. Judy had it returned
to her, and several weeks passed before Jim even knew she had it.
|Upon Jim’s return from Viet Nam, the family
moved to Ft. Hood, where Jim was Executive Officer of the 3rd Battalion,
2d Artillery, an Honest John Rocket Battalion. Orders came again for an
unaccompanied tour to Korea.
|Jim was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 76th Artillery,
at Camp St. Barbara, as a special weapons officer of I Corps Artillery.
After Korea, it was back to Germany, this time to Neu Ulm, where Jim was
a battery commander in the 1st Battalion, 81st Artillery. There, he distinguished
himself by having the first Operational Pershing Unit to be evaluated with
zero faults during firing. Under his command, that feat was replicated
many times, setting a new standard of excellence for deployed Pershing
missile units during the Cold War.
|That enviable record earned him an assignment
to the U.S. Army Europe Pershing Operational Test Unit (POTU) in Heidelberg.
Jim transferred on a request to HQ USAREUR, to serve as an analysis officer
of the POTU.
|In 1974, orders brought Jim and his family to
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, with the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity.
While at Aberdeen, Jim earned two graduate degrees from Central Michigan
University, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa. He later accepted a civilian
engineer position at the Ballistics Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving
Ground. He was a member of the Vulnerability/Lethality Division, the Army’s
lead agency for the assessment of conventional ballistic vulnerability
|His academic training at West Point, coupled
with his military background and extensive combat experience, were extremely
valuable in that role. In addition to having many articles published, his
work had a significant impact in the area of experimental testing and ballistic
range design and development. He managed the vulnerability exploitation
testing of numerous classified foreign targets. He was instrumental in
the establishment of a ballistic test facility in the mid 1980s where anti-tank
weapons — such as the M829A1 (Silver Bullet of Desert Storm), 120mm, depleted
uranium, long rod penetrator — could be fired and evaluated at realistic
combat ranges. That information was vital during the Gulf War, when the
BRL provided the VII Corps field commanders with lethality projections
for our weapons against specific enemy targets.
|Also during that time, Jim spent one year at
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research & Advanced
Technology, Engineering Technology at the Pentagon. His distinguished career
as a military officer and engineer/scientist serves as an excellent example.
|Jim retired from Civil Service in January 1991.
During retirement, he enjoyed golfing, playing bridge, and traveling. He
was very witty and very generous and extremely proud of his family. The
love and understanding the Schall family shares is a model for families
everywhere. Perhaps it was one of Jim’s greatest accomplishments.
|Jim died tragically in a fire at his home in
Abingdon, MD, in February 1999.
|He was alone at the time. A mass of the resurrection
was offered at the Ft. Myer Chapel, followed by interment with full military
honors on top of a hill at Arlington National Cemetery.
|His wife of 37 years, Judy; three children,
Dr. Jim Schall III, David Schall, and Sandra Schall Ritterpusch; and six
grandchildren, Mark, Emily, Jake, Kara, Jimmy IV, and Danny, survive him.
He gave much of himself to his country and to his family. He was a wonderful
best friend, husband, father, and “Pop” and was truly loved and is greatly
|“And when our work is done, our course on earth
is run, may it be said, ‘Well done. Be thou at peace.’ ”
— Wife Judy and family, Terry McCarthy ’62, John Wolfe,
Bill Bird, and John Jacobson
James Edward Schall, Jr
Viet Nam - 1966
James Edward Schall IV
Maryland - 2001