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Home > September 2015 > National POW/MIA Recognition Day
National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Seperator
Posted: 9/18/2015 12:00:00 AM

September 18 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. On this day, we remember the servicemen and women who were prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.

 
POW/MIA Recognition Day
Diary entry describing Edward Martin’s airplane being hit by a surface-to-air missile, July 9, 1967. (Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of naval aviators Ben Heald, Jim VanLiere, Brian Walker and Bernard Fipp.)
 

During Intrepid’s Vietnam War service, three of the ship’s pilots—Wilson Key, Edward Martin and Peter Schoeffel—became prisoners of war. Almost 800 POWs were held in captivity during the Vietnam War. Most POWs were U.S. Navy or Air Force pilots who were shot down over North Vietnam and subsequently captured. All three of Intrepid’s POWs flew A-4 Skyhawks and were captured during the ship’s deployment in 1967.

Lt. Cdr. Edward H. Martin was shot down by surface-to-air missiles on July 9, 1967, while on a mission to bomb an ammunition site near Hanoi.

Lt. Cdr. Peter V. Schoeffel was on a strike near Haiphong on October 4, 1967, when he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Lt. Wilson Denver Key was on a mission to attack a surface-to-air missile site on November 17, 1967, when he was shot down by enemy fire.

Intrepid’s POWs were released in March 1973 as part of Operation Homecoming. Combined, they spent over 16 years in captivity. Each of these aviators stayed in the U.S. Navy after their release and return to the United States.

To learn more about Intrepid’s POW and MIA servicemen, visit the new exhibition On the Line: Intrepid and the Vietnam War, opening on October 16, 2015.

Learn more

 


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