‘Shooter’ Eadie funny, thought­ful, loyal

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - Story and pho­tos by Kirk Bar­ron kbar­ron@ap­pealdemo­crat.com

Words of re­mem­brance echoed through an over­flow crowd in Hangar I-8 on the flight­line of Beale Air Force Base on Thurs­day morn­ing. Fam­ily and friends said good­bye to Lt. Col. Steve “Shooter” Eadie.

The sto­ries de­scribed a ded­i­cated fam­ily man, loyal friend, elite fly­ing in­struc­tor and no­to­ri­ous prankster dur­ing his memo­rial ser­vice – eight days af­ter Eadie was killed when a two-seat U-2 trainer went down in the Sut­ter Buttes.

Eadie, 46, was one of six eval­u­a­tor pi­lots who in­ter­viewed and trained new U-2 pi­lots and served as the as­sis­tant direc­tor of op­er­a­tions for the 1st Re­con­nais­sance Squadron. He was posthu­mously awarded the Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Medal dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

Lt. Col. Paul Wurster, the 1st Re­con­nais­sance Squadron com­man­der, said Eadie held him­self ac­count­able for ev­ery­thing he did and took on sig­nif­i­cant re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. He was in charge of run­ning all of the squadron’s main­te­nance func­tional check flights and con­ducted in­ter­view flights with po­ten­tial new pi­lots.

“He did our hard­est duty, which is fly­ing with in­ter­vie­wees who are try­ing to pledge our pro­gram, and this is where I last saw him, wait­ing at the desk for an air­plane to get fu­eled, smil­ing,” Wurster said. “He was gen­uinely happy and ex­cited to take some­body up on that first flight in the U-2.”

Speak­ers said Eadie was the in­struc­tor who signed off on the 1,000th pi­lot to solo the U-2. His legacy at Beale re­mains in the 23 pi­lots who grad­u­ated to fly the Dragon Lady un­der his tute­lage and count­less more he helped since he ar­rived in the U-2 pro­gram in 2009.

Eadie came to the pro­gram af­ter spend­ing 13 years in the Navy. He reg­u­larly de­ployed and flew mis­sions over­seas.

Cameron Eadie talks about his fa­ther, Lt. Col. Steve “Shooter” Eadie, dur­ing his memo­rial ser­vice.

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