LCDR Robert H.Shumaker was an F8D pilot
assigned to Fighter Squadron 154 on board the USS
CORAL SEA. Shumaker's aircraft was shot down by enemy fire on 11th
February 1965 and he was
captured by the North Vietnamese. The aircraft was destroyed. He was the second Navy
aviator to be captured.
LCDR Robert Shumaker was flying an F-8
Crusader when he was hit by 37 mm.
cannon fire, which forced the jet out of control. He ejected using a
Martin-Baker Mk.5 ejection seat and his
parachute opened a mere 35 feet from the ground. The impact broke his
and he was captured immediately, placed in a jeep and transported over
rutted roads to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi a white smocked North
Vietnamese gave him a cursory examination before dozens of
yet did not give him any medical attention. His back healed itself, but
was six months before he could bend.
The day after he was shot down, he was paraded before a news conference
Dong Hoi by guards with fixed bayonets.
For the next 8 years, Shumaker was held in various prisoner of war
including the infamous Hoa Lo complex in Hanoi. It may be well to note
that Mr. Shumaker himself is the man who dubbed the Hoa Lo Prison the
"Hanoi Hilton", its better known nickname.
"I simply want to say that I am happy to be
so grateful to a nation that never did forget us. We tried to conduct
ourselves so that America would be as proud of us as we are proud of
am very proud to have served my country and pleased that we can return
honor and dignity. "