BALDOCK, FREDERICK CHARLES JR.

Name: Frederick Charles Baldock, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: VA 94
Date of Birth: 10 May 1939
Home City of Record: Pittsburgh PA
Date of Loss: 17 March 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 183700N 1054800E (WF843584)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/vehicle/Ground: A4C
Missions: 80+
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK.

REMARKS: 730212 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: When the bombing of North Vietnam began after a Christmas
moratorium on January 31 1966, American efforts intensified to the extent
the monsoon season allowed. December 1965 had seen monthly combat sorties
into North Vietnam at about 1500 per week. In February 1966, about one
hundred planes flew over North Vietnam every day and by March the daily
average of flights was 50 percent higher.

Most of the strikes on North Vietnam were made by Navy aircraft stationed on
aircraft carriers on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin. LTJG Frederick C.
Baldock Jr. was one pilot who launched off carriers at Yankee Station. He
was the pilot of an A4C Skyhawk.

The Douglas Aircraft A4 Skyhawk was an inexpensive, lightweight attack and
ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.

Baldock had been in Vietnam waters in 1965 onboard the USS RANGER flying
strike missions on targets in North Vietnam. On one mission, his aircraft
was hit, leaving an eight-inch hole in the tailpipe. Baldock landed at Da
Nang Airbase then returned in the aircraft to the carrier. A hazardous near
miss.

On March 1966, LTJG Baldock launched in his A4C Skyhawk on a combat mission
near the city of Vinh in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam. During this
mission, Baldock's aircraft was again hit by enemy fire. This time, the
damage to the aircraft was more severe and Baldock was forced to eject. He
was captured by the North Vietnamese.

For the next seven years, Baldock was a "guest" of the North Vietnamese in
the Hanoi prison system. Finally, on February 12, 1973, Baldock and 590
other Americans were released from prisoner of war camps in Vietnam.

Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned
American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.

SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

FREDERICK C. BALDOCK, JR.
Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy
Shot Down: March 17, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973

I was born in Dayton, Ohio and moved around a bit in my childhood, settling in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during high school and college. I attended Penn
State University for three years before enlisting in the Navy in May, 1960.1
went to boot camp and sonar school in San Diego, California and was then
assigned to the USS Bausell DD 845 for a few months before being selected
for flight training in June 1961. I went through the normal Jet syllabus
receiving my wings and commission in March 1963. Thereafter, I went to a six
week NBCD school in Ft. McClellan, Alabama before being assigned to VA 125
(the RAG) in May, 1963. I joined VA 94 flying A 4 C's in November 1963 and
made a cruise on the USS Ranger from August, 1964 to May, 1 965. My second
cruise on the USS Enterprise started in September, 1965 and was ended rather
abruptly on March 17, 1966 when my aircraft was hit by a missile near Vinh.
I was a prisoner of war for almost 7 years.
        
My "period of adjustment" has progressed quite well having completed a motor
trip around  the U.S.   and a vacation in Europe during my convalescent
leave. I was married in November, am attached to VF 1 26 at NAS Miramar as
an instrument flight instructor. My wife, Terry, and I recently bought a
house in Cardiff, California. I intend to stay in the Navy (I have 14 years
in now) and hope to go back to school for my Bachelor's and perhaps my
Master's in International Relations.
        
My sister Barbara is a stewardess for TWA out of Los Angeles. My parents are
retired and live in a mobile home in San Marcos, California. They remain
very active in the social life of the mobile home complex.
        
In summing up my seven years of captivity, I think I gained an awareness of
life that I perhaps never would have had otherwise. I feel I am a better man
mentally, physically and spiritually. Many people don't need the type of
shock I had to spur action. I learned that it is very important to
constantly seek improvement in all facets of life. One never ceases to learn
or to achieve. The changes I have noticed that have taken place in the
United States are relatively unimportant compared to the unchanged American
People. The returning POWs issue has made it very clear that the love of
Americans for their fellow man is at least as strong as it ever was and,
armed with this valuable weapon, America will never cease to be the greatest
country on earth.

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Frederick Baldock retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He and
Terry still live in California.

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