In Memoriam: Beloved 501st Chaplain dies

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  • By 501CSW
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
An Airman assigned to the 501st Combat Support Wing at RAF Croughton was found deceased in his residence in England, Aug. 27.

A native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Captain, Chaplain John Schuetze served Airmen and their families in five different major commands in his eight years of service. Ordained as a Catholic priest by the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Ch Schuetze was endorsed by the Archdiocese for Military Service. He was commissioned as a captain in the Air Force in 2008 and arrived to the 501st CSW in September 2016.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of our own,” said Col. William Kale III, 501st CSW commander. “Chaplain Schuetze served selflessly and dedicated his life to inspiring and caring for Airmen. The 501st Combat Support Wing expresses our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of this exemplary Airman.”

In his role as a 501st CSW chaplain at RAF Croughton, Ch Schuetze was responsible for ensuring the free exercise of religion and care for the spiritual needs of all by providing religious worship and rites, religious accommodation, pastoral care, unit engagement, counseling and advising leadership. His ministry supported the RAF Croughton community including Department of State London Annex and five geographically separated units across Western and Central England enabling intelligence, communication and global strike operations in support of the United States and NATO objectives around the world.

“Chaplain Schuetze had a deep love for country, for the church, and for Airmen. Father John always saw the good in people and called them to live full lives of faith and service,” said Ch. Lt. Col. Jerry Sather, 501st CSW chaplain. “His death is a great loss to our chapel team, the United States Air Force and the Church. We pray that his family and friends may be comforted in their time of grief.”

A base-wide memorial service was held for Chaplain Schuetze Sept. 6, along with multiple Catholic services and a Memorial Mass. At each, his friends, family and fellow Airmen honored the traits that marked his legacy: selflessness, faith, and a devotion to caring for Airmen.

For additional inquiries, please contact 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs at 01480 843 920 or