Milton Pope ’52 Shares Lt. Everett Shields' Story

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This summer, we shared the story of Jim Hunter, a fallen Vietnam War hero who earned many exceptional awards for his gallantry. This story prompted brother Milton Pope ’52 to share the story of his brother First Lt. Everett (Buddy) Lee Shields ’50, who was also regarded as a war hero when he served in the Korean War in the ’50s.

"Buddy was an outstanding young man on the campus at Georgia Tech, where he served on the Student Council for four years and was president of his junior and senior class. He was also elected to ANAK, ODK, Koseme, was a member of the Rambling Wreck Club for three years, served as president of Alpha Sigma, and was even named in Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges," Milton said of his friend. 

Buddy graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Architecture and later received his commission as a Second Lt. in the United States Air Force. He went on to complete his pilot training and was assigned to a fighter-bomber squadron in Korea, piloting a F-84 Thunderjet.

On July 19, 1953, while on a combat mission and leading an element in a flight of four aircraft, Buddy started a gradual napalm run at an altitude of 200 feet. This exposed his plane to intense and accurate automatic and small arms fire. As he approached his target, his aircraft received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire. He informed the flight of his condition, but continued his hazardous napalm run. Approximately 50 feet over the target, he released both napalm tanks, scoring direct hits that covered two gun positions in a sheet of flames. 

Buddy's plane crashed and disintegrated. He was listed as missing in action and presumed dead on July 13, 1954. "Through his courage, keen flying ability, and devotion to duty, Buddy reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. The President of the United States awarded him with the Distinguished Service Cross, and as most of us know, this award is second only to the Medal of Honor," said Milton. "I, personally, take great pride in stating that he initiated me into the Alpha Sigma Chapter and that I named my first son Buddy after such a great friend." 

Do you know of any Alpha Sigma brothers who are war heroes? Tell us about them by clicking here to submit an update. 

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