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Herschel was born April 15, 1920 on a farm east of Cambridge, Neb. He was one of six children born to Arnold E. “Art” and Mary (Keene) Pahl.
Herschel survived the Depression and the terrible dust storm of the 1930s. He retired as a Naval Aviator in 1973 after 31½ years of active duty. Hersch and wife Bonnie B. (Lawrence) Pahl made their home in Douglas County, Mo. on a farm east of the city of Ava. There they enjoyed tree farming, raising cattle, grass and grandchildren and producing lumber for furniture. They have also been faithful members of Ava United Methodist Church.
During World War II, Herschel was a fighter pilot flying the F6F Hellcat fighter plane from four different aircraft carriers in the Pacific: USS Independence, USS Cowpens, USS Intrepid and USS Hancock. He had three combat tours of duty. After World War II he continued to serve on aircraft carriers USS Hornet, USS Coral Sea and USS Wasp.
Hersch’s last duty assignment was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he had previously completed his undergraduate work.
Herschel has written and published four historical books, two of which are available at www.herschpahlbooks.com. His historical site is dedicated to preserving the aircraft carrier history of World War II and the stories of the many unsung heroes that gave their lives to preserve our freedom.
Herschel is survived by his wife Bonnie of over 67 years; sons Neel Pahl, Aurora, Colo., and Dale Pahl, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; and siblings Phyllis Mitchell and Glenda Schultz of Seatac, Wash. Herschel was further survived by eight grandchildren: Julie Cogdill, Paige Pahl, Maclaine Pahl, Stephanie Pahl, Neel Williams Pahl, Dale “Ted” Pahl, Erin Pahl and Lesley Pahl; and five great-grandchildren: Josh, Devin, Ethan and Noah Cogdill and Heidi Pahl.
In addition to his parents, Herschel was preceded in death by son Terrence “Randy” Pahl; and siblings Harold Pahl, Camilla Orvis and Melva Rucker.
Funeral services for Herschel will be Thursday, October 21, at 2 p.m. at the Ava United Methodist Church, Ava, Mo., with burial following in the Ava Cemetery with full Military Honors by U.S. Navy, Douglas County American Legion 112 and VFW 5993.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo. Officiating will be Rev. Marty Blakey. Memorials may be made to American Heart Association or Ava United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneral home.com.