By Chris Graham
In 1968, Kenneth Shanley graduated from DeLand High School, where he had been class president.
He joined the Army in August of that year and, after basic training, went to flight school. He graduated as a warrant officer in 1969 and was deployed to Vietnam, where he flew Chinook helicopters for the 1st Cavalry Division.
Later, Shanley served at several bases in the U.S., as well as a year in Korea. He remained on active duty flying until 1981, at which time he joined the Hawaii Army National Guard. He continued flying helicopters as well as airplanes until he retired as a CW4 in 1992.
Shanley’s awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Air Medal for Valor, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, the Army Service Ribbon and the Master Army Aviator Badge.
Shanley is a retired airline captain, having flown for Hawaiian Airlines, Northwest Airlines and finally Delta Airlines after their merger with Northwest. Most of his 30-year airline career was spent flying to international destinations.
Shanley and his wife, Ann, moved back to DeLand in December 2019. Ann is also from DeLand, and they have been friends since junior high. They both took different paths after high school but remained in touch and eventually married in 2013. They have two children (a son and a daughter) and four grandchildren (two boys and two girls).