Fallen Soldier: Richard W. Schafer III

Richard W. Schafer III
Dates: Died August 31, 2014
Hometown: Austin, TX
Branch of Service: Air Force
Rank: Major
Player: Tyler Wilkes

U.S. Air Force Major Richard W. Schafer III, 35, of Austin, Tex., was assigned to the 49th Fighter Training Squadron, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss, where he served as an F-16 Fighter Pilot. On August 31, 2014, Major Schafer and his brother died in a small airplane crash in Abilene, Tex.

A student at Bowie High School in Austin, Tex., Richard Schafer initiated the school’s ROTC program, lettered in football as the team’s fullback, and graduated in the top five percent of his class in 1997. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2001 as a member of the 18th squadron “Knight Riders.

"Tracer", as he was known to his fellow pilots, had over 2000 flight hours in the F-16 and T-38. He flew F-16’s on combat missions over Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He went on to fly the T-38 and trained future Fighter Pilots as an IFF (Introduction to Fighting Fundamentals) Instructor Pilot.

At the time of his passing, Major Schafer and his wife had two young daughters, both of which are Folds of Honor Children’s Fund Scholarship recipients.