ENSCH, JOHN CLYDE

Name: John Clyde Ensch
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy, pilot
Unit: Fighter Squadron 161, USS MIDWAY
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Springfield IL
Date of Loss: 25 August 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204231N 1062731E (XH512875)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
Missions: 285
Other Personnel in Incident: Michael W. Doyle (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 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: 730329 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: LTCDR Michael W. Doyle was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron
161 onboard the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY. On August 25, 1972 he launched
with his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), Lt. John C. Ensch, in their F4B
Phantom fighter aircraft. Their mission was a MiG Combat Air Patrol over
North Vietnam.

At approximately 24 miles southwest of Haiphong the aircraft was hit by a
surface-to-air missile (SAM). Doyle and Ensch ejected immediately and were
sighted by their wingman on descent. An emergency radio beeper was heard for
approximately 10 seconds. Search and rescue efforts were initiated without
success, and were terminated two days later.

The U.S. received information quickly that John Ensch had been captured.
Although Doyle was at first listed Missing in Action, he, too, was
ultimately listed as Prisoner of War.

John Ensch was released in Operation Homecoming in 1973. William Doyle was
not. Ensch had suffered a broken left arm and hand which had been poorly
set, leaving him disfigured and disabled. Several returning POWs had
information relating to Doyle. Doyle's flight helmet had been seen with a
pile of gear at the "Hanoi Hilton" prisoner of war complex in Hanoi. Also,
Doyle's name was scratched on a pre-interrogation cell wall in the complex.

The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of William Doyle.

In July 1985, the Vietnamese "discovered" the remains of William Doyle and
returned them to U.S. control. Doyle was missing for 13 years.

Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of
reports have been received indicating that some hundreds remain alive in
captivity. As in the case of William Doyle, Vietnam and her communist allies
can account for most of them. Current "negotiations" between the U.S. and
Vietnam have yielded the remains of nearly 300 Americans -- remains which
should have been returned decades ago.

In the total view of the issue of the missing, however, the return of
remains signals no progress. In the early 1980's the very credible
Congressional testimony of a Vietnamese mortician indicated that the
Vietnamese are in possession of over 400 sets of remains. In 15 years, they
have returned barely half that number. More importantly, the same credible
witness, whose testimony regarding remains is believed throughout Congress,
stated that he had seen live Americans held at the same location where the
remains were stored. The testimony regarding live Americans is not
considered credible.

As long as even one American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia,
the only issue is that one living man. We must bring them home before there
are only remains to negotiate for.

Michael William Doyle was promoted to the rank of Commander during the
period he was prisoner of war.


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

JOHN C. ENSCH
Lieutenant - United States Navy
Shot Down: May 25, 1972
Released: March 29, 1973
                                          
I entered the Navy through the Aviation Officers Candidate Program and was
commissioned an Ensign on 28 May 1965 after completion of pre-flight
training at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Following basic Naval Officer training
at Pensacola, I received advanced training at NAS Glynco, Georgia and there
received my "wings of gold." My next assignment was with VF-121 at NAS
Miramar, California where I received training in the  F-4B weapons systems
and tactics. In July 1966 I joined VF-21 and made two deployments to
Southeast Asia, one aboard the USS Coral Sea and one aboard the USS Ranger.
In June 1968 I received orders as Aide to Commander Naval Air Test Center,
Patuxent River, Maryland. There I served as an Aide to Rear Admiral H. L.
Miller until September 1970 when I returned to NAS Miramar for F-4 refresher
training at VF-121.

In January 1971, I joined VF-161 and in April 1971 deployed to Southeast
Asia aboard the USS Midway. On 10 April 1972 I made my second deployment to
Southeast Asia with VF-161 and USS Midway in response to the increased
hostilities by North Vietnam. On 23 May 1972, my pilot, Lt. Cdr. Ron McKeown
and I were fortunate and had the opportunity to put our tactics training to
good use. We are credited with two Mig kills in an engagement over North
Vietnam. On 25 May 1972 my pilot, Lt. Cdr. Mike Doyle and I were shot down
by a SAM. I was captured immediately after ejection and spent seven months
in captivity, being released with the last group of POWs on March 29,1973.

Prior to entering the Navy, I graduated from Illinois State University with
a BS in Education. I plan to continue my Naval career and following my
convalescent period, I hope to start work toward a Masters Degree at the
Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California. I am married to a lovely
lady named Kathy, whom I met in college. We have been married nine years and
have three daughters, Beth, 7, Becky, 5, and Christy, 2.

Faith in God, our President and the American people, plus the leadership,
spirit and companionship of my fellow POWs helped sustain me during
imprisonment. I prayed for strength to overcome injuries and to resist-my
prayers were answered. I prayed for our President and his efforts to secure
a peace agreement and the return of all POWs-again, my prayers were
answered. I looked to my fellow POWs to help me through periods of pain,
anxiety and depression - I was never let down. And since my return I can see
that my faith in my country and the American people was fully warranted. I
am proud to be an American and to have had the honor of serving a country
that has given me and others so much to live for. I hope we can all strive
together to make our nation even greater. And I pray America will not forget
those listed as MIA.

================
John Ensch retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and Kathy
still live in California.

================

POW bracelet
search leads to Padres official

San Diego Union Tribune - San Diego,CA,USA
is one and the same as the Lt. John Ensch whose name was embossed into a POW bracelet in 1972 after his F-4 Phantom was shot down over North Vietnam. ...

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pow-bracelets-20101104,0,7337880,full.story  11/2010

Vietnam War bracelets come full circle

Decades after the war's end, some who wore POW/MIA bracelets are reaching out to learn what happened to 'their' guy.

More info