About Dr. Jack Schofield
Dr. Jack Schofield
Jack Lund Schofield, a former Nevada legislator and member of the state Board of Regents
Schofield, 91, had a list of accomplishments that included becoming the Golden Gloves welterweight boxing champion in 1941 and serving as a decorated pilot during World War II.
Dr Schofield had a wife Alene, 94, (2015) and six children. He said in 2013 that he had 34 grandchildren and 59 great-grandchildren. Sam Lieberman, who replaced Schofield as the regent for District 5, said
“Jack was a saint of a human being that cared passionately about our community,” Lieberman said. “He’ll be remembered as a great Nevadan and a great American.”
Schofield graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1941, enlisted in the Army in Salt Lake City in October 1942, was called to active duty in April 1943 and “put on the (pilot) wings” on June 27, 1944, in New Mexico.
In February 1945, the 14th Air Force Flying Tigers fighter planes under Maj. Gen. Claire Chennault were being integrated with new B-25H Mitchell bombers, a “wicked machine” with cannon for the pilot and .50-caliber machine guns for the crew.
Jack Schofield, back row center, with his B-25 crew in 1945 at the 22nd Bomb Squadron base at Yangkai, China. The squadron was part of the 341st Bomb Group of the 14th Air Force in China in 1944 and 1945.
Almost every bombing mission Jack Schofield flew in World War II was a mission of opportunity.
“Anything ‘enemy’ we had a license to kill, a license to destroy. That was our mission: Destroy the enemy,” the 89-year-old former Army Air Force pilot said in his speech to veterans who graduated from Judge Mark Stevens’ Henderson Veterans Court.
“You’d like to say that’s pretty hard, a hard thing to visualize that people want to destroy and kill,” he said.
“But, my heavens, the Japanese had done their best to undercut us and do their dirty deed at Pearl Harbor.
“They just wanted to slaughter us. They were heartless, and it made you angry inside, like you wanted to kill back,” he said.
“I’m a Christian and I know that I’m not supposed to feel that way, but you couldn’t help it when you read about the atrocities.”
Much like the opportunities Schofield encountered in the 44 missions he flew during the China-Burma-India campaign, including four flights that took him over “the Hump” — the towering Himalayas — the three graduates Thursday were given opportunities for a second chance to erase misdemeanor penalties by completing courses with veteran mentors.
Their reward was an opportunity to hear Schofield’s hourlong war story. It was as much a lesson in life as it was a chapter in military history.
“I think I’m the only one in the world to buzz the Taj Mahal in a B-25,” he said.
After the war, Schofield studied at the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1949. His dedication to education led to his master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1967, before earning his doctorate in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dr. Jack Schofield, 89, while speaking about his family Thursday in
Judge Mark Stevens’ courtroom at Henderson Municipal Court.
Schofield taught at many local schools and has a Las Vegas middle school named for him. He was also an assemblyman and state senator in the 1970s.
“Jack was passionate about education and definitely a family man,” said Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, a neighbor of Schofield’s who ran for public office against him. “He stayed engaged in the community.”
Of all the things Schofield did in life, he said his biggest accomplishment wasn’t his teaching or political career or dodging anti-aircraft fire during World War II.
Instead, it was his family.
“My wife is the most genuine human being I’ve ever met,” Schofield told the Review-Journal in 2013.