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Schaufelberger Albert Arthur

Albert Arthur Schaufelberger
Lieutenant Commander
Serial Number:
United States Navy
Date of Death:

LCDR Albert Arthur Schaufelberger III, of Chula Vista, California, was born on August 8, 1949, in Marseilles, LaSalle County, Illinois. He was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, class of 1971, at Annapolis, Maryland, and was an avid American football and lacrosse player while in college. His father, Albert Schaufelberger (Senior), was a decorated fighter and bomber pilot during the Vietnam War.

LCDR Schaufelberger was the senior U.S. Naval representative at the U.S. Military Group, El Salvador. He was a United States Navy SEAL, second in command of the U.S. Military Group advising the Salvadoran Military on counter-insurgency and weapons traffic interdiction operations. In addition, he was security chief for the 53 U.S. military advisors in the country at the time. Schaufelberger had responsibility, among other duties, for naval operations in the Gulf of Fonseca which were run out of the La Union naval base. It was at the La Union naval base where Schaufelberger allowed himself to be photographed for the last time several days before his assassination. Schaufelberger's death was the first of a U.S. military member in El Salvador following the October 1980 arrival in the country of U.S. military advisors.

At approximately 6:30 pm on May 25, 1983, Schaufelberger was assassinated on the grounds of the Central American University in San Salvador. A group under the umbrella of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the Central American Revolutionary Workers' Party (PRTC), is thought to have carried out the act.

Schaufelberger had been dating an employee of the university, Consuelo Escalante Aguilera, for several months and often drove to the university in civilian clothes to pick her up after work. On May 25, he arrived and sounded the horn of his armored embassy-provided Ford Maverick, his signal to inform his date that he had arrived. Ms. Aguilera exited her office and observed what she believed to be a white Volkswagen microbus pull up and stop near Schaufelberger's car. Reportedly several individuals were involved in the assassination, with at least one firing through the open window of Schaufelberger's car. Schaufelberger's car leaped forward, impacting a car directly in front of it. The assassins then jumped into their vehicle and escaped. Unfortunately for him, Schaufelberger had removed the bullet-resistant glass over the driver's-side window after the air conditioner in his vehicle had broken.

As he requested, he was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at sea in the Pacific off the California coast from a Navy SEAL patrol Boat following a memorial service with his family present on board.

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