LCDR Leland C Shanle Jr. USN (Ret)

Chip was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri. He attended Chaminade College Prep Class of 1977. After High School he joined Naval ROTC at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Upon graduation in December of 1981, he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. A month later he married Laura L Cantrell and they set out on their Navy adventure together.

Leland Shanle, Jr. After completing Aviation Indoctrination at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Chip transferred to NAS Corpus Christi (VT 27) for primary flight training in the T-28B Trojan. Achieving jet grades he was next assigned to Training Squadron 4 (VT 4) back at NAS Pensacola. He successfully completed the Strike syllabus flying and Carrier Qualifying in the T-2B Buckeye then the TA-4J Sky hawk.

His first Fleet Squadron was VAQ 136 flying the EA-6B Prowler from the deck of the USS Midway, CV-41. Carrier Air Wing Five (CAG 5) was forward deployed on board CV-41 in Japan. While attached to VAQ 136/CAG 5 he flew missions in operation EARNEST WILL protecting US Flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf. At sea nearly continuously for the late 80s the Midway was the point carrier during the end game of the Cold War.

Returning to the United States in early 1990 he was assigned to Training Squadron 21 at NAS Kingsville as an Advanced Strike Flight Instructor. Flying the TA-4J Sky Hawk the instructors of VT 21 taught the Student Naval Aviators the art of war, in high speed fighter/attack aircraft, as well as how to find and land on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier.

In 1993 he was re-assigned to the EA-6B returning to the Fleet as a Department Head for the VAQ 137 Rooks. VAQ 137/CAG 11 took part in operation DENY FLIGHT, Chip flew 40 missions from the USS America (CV 66) over war torn Bosnia. The America transited the Suez Canal in support of US Forces in Somalia before returning to the Aegean Sea and finally the United States.

After de-establishing VAQ 137 he transferred to the VAQ 135 Black Ravens on board the USS Lincoln CVN 72). After a quick turn around VAQ 135/CAG 1 deployed to the Persian Gulf flying missions over Iraq in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH. Chip was designated an Air Wing SEAD Strike Lead for CAG 1, and flew another 40 missions.

Chip’s last set of orders took him to Naval Weapons Test Squadron at Point Mugu (VX 30). As head of the QF-4N program for VX 30 he flew as a test pilot and fleet adversary pilot, and was honored to become a full member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Leading Detachments from Puerto Rico in the East to Okinawa in the West, he had “a hoot” chasing around the young guys in the old F-4N and F-4S Phantom IIs.

Closing out his Naval Aviation career in 1998 with 600 carrier landings (200 night) on 11 different carriers; Chip, Laura and their 4 kids moved back to St. Louis. After being furloughed from a cargo carrier (Kitty Hawk) he settled in at American Airlines in 1999.

His former CO of VX 30, Captain Dave Kennedy, got him involved in the movie industry that same year. Chip was an aviation/military technical advisor on 5 major motion pictures (Pearl Harbor, Behind Enemy Lines, xXx, The Day After Tomorrow and Stealth). Helping to re-write scripts got him started as a writer. Project 7Alpha is the first in a series entitled American Aviators. Vengeance the next book in the series is scheduled for release soon.

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  1. Russ Ausley 5 May 2007 at 02:05 #

    Shan Man,
    Trying to find you and found this site. Now I don’t have to ask you what you’ve been up to lately! Had fun reading and reminiscing….
    I need some gouge shipmate – pls drop me a line.

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