FELLOWES, JOHN HEAPHY "JACK"
We all have memories of many of the fine human beings we met in prison
and Jack is certainly one of them. His attitude was contagious because
it was Upbeat in a place of pain and sorrow, his sense of humor kept a
smile on your face and he was always complimentary, never judgmental.
Jack made the best of each day and helped those years to slide by with a
minimum of internal conflict. He was a gentleman and a friend and he will
be missed, but he will always be remembered. Thank God for Jack Fellows!
Name: John Heaphy "Jack" Fellowes Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 65, USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) Date of Birth: 22 November 1932 Home City of Record: Virginia Beach VA Date of Loss: 27 August 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 184700N 1052700E (WF474767) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A Missions: 55 Other Personnel in Incident: George T. Coker (released POW) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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 2010. REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV SYNOPSIS: The USS CONSTELLATION provided air power to the U.S. effort in Vietnam early in the war, having participated in strikes against Loc Chao and Hon Gai in North Vietnam during August 1964. One of the first American POWs of the war, and certainly one of the most well-known, LTJG Everett Alverez, launched from her decks and was captured during this series of strikes in 1964. The CONSTELLATION was large and carried a full range of aircraft. Fighters from her air wing, CVW-14, earned the carrier the Meritorious Unit Commendation in 1968 during a particularly intense period of air attacks. VF-96, a premier fighter squadron awarded the Clifton Trophy two straight years, flew from the CONSTELLATION in October 1971. During this period, two of her pilots, LT Randall H. Cunningham and LTJG William "Willie" Driscoll became the first American aces of the Vietnam War, having shot down five Russian-made MiG enemy aircraft. The CONSTELLATION remained on station throughout most of the war. LCDR John H. "Jack" Fellowes was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 65 onboard the USS CONSTELLATION. On August 27, 1966, he and his Bombardier/Navigator (BN), LTJG George T. Coker, launched in their A6A Intruder all-weather attack aircraft on a strike/bombing mission into North Vietnam. When the flight was about 20 miles northwest of the city of Vinh in Nghe An Province, Fellowes' aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire or debris from a surface-to-air missile (SAM) in the right wing which caused the aircraft to enter a flat spin forcing both crewmen to eject. Their wingman sighted two parachutes at approximately 2,000 feet, and manually operated emergency radio beeper signals commenced and persisted as the wingman maneuvered to keep the chutes in sight. The area was about 18 miles inland in a well-populated area. The terrain was primarily flat with rice paddies and numerous houses and villages. There was little to offer concealment. Moderate flak was encountered as the two parachutes passed 1,000 feet. Due to poor weather visibility and enemy flak, the wingman lost sight of the two chutes as they passed below 50 feet. An intensive search effort was conducted despite moderate to heavy flak for nearly 3 hours, but the parachutes were not spotted on the ground, nor were emergency beepers heard any longer. Both Fellowes and Coker were classified Missing in Action. Later that day, Radio Hanoi announced, "The Armed Forces and people in Nghe An Province this morning shot down two U.S. aircraft during two counterattacks within ten minutes. At 1030 hours, one of the two U.S. planes was shot down on the spot at the first round while intruding into the airspace over the western part of the province. The aggressor pilot was captured. Ten minutes later, flights of U.S. aircraft send to the rescue of the U.S. air pirate had to flee in disorder in the face of accurate ground fire. One of them was knocked down." (NOTE: No other Americans were captured or listed as missing on that date.) When this information was received, both men were reclassified Prisoner of War. During their captivity, Coker and Fellowes suffered along with their fellow POWs. Torture and deprivation was commonplace. Fellowes arms were both permanently damaged by manipulation in the "ropes", a common torture-technique. Coker actually escaped in December 1970 with another American. The two swam down the Red River, but were recaptured. Coker was found buried in a mud bank attempting to conceal his location from his captors. Fellowes and Coker were held in various prisoner of war camps -- Cu Loc, Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton), Alcatraz -- in and around Hanoi throughout the duration of the war. On March 4, 1973, they were both released as part of Operation Homecoming. 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. George T. Coker was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant during the period he was prisoner of war. He remained in the Navy and attained the rank of Commander. In 1986, Coker resided in Virginia Beach, Virginia. John H. Fellowes was promoted to the rank of Commander during the period he was prisoner of war. He remained in the Navy and attained the rank of Captain. He retired from the Navy and as of 1989, resided in Annapolis, Maryland.
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 H. FELLOWS Commander - United States Navy Shot Down: August 27, 1966 Released: March 4, 1973 I was shot down over North Vietnam while flying an A-6 that was based aboard the USS Constellation. The six years and seven months was an ordeal of struggling through endless days of unbelievably atrocious treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese. My love of athletics was a major factor in my ability to survive. I was hit while flying at about 3500 feet. The aircraft immediately inverted, the stick was frozen and we were bouncing wildly. I later learned that the wing had been blown off. While still inverted as the plane was falling, George Coker and I ejected. I felt a strong jolt as I struck earth. It was later that I learned that I had suffered a compression fracture in my back (several vertebrae had been pushed together). As I reached the top of a small knoll, I saw about 100 people running toward me. When I realized that I was going to be a prisoner, I sat down and pulled out a cigar. Just as I was about to light it, a hand came from behind my head and yanked it from my hand. This gesture convinced me that I was in less than amiable hands. Anyone who would steal a man's cigar is definitely unfriendly. We walked six or seven hours that first night. By the third day of walking my feet and back were killing me. They had taken my boots away and my thick athletic socks were caked with mud and debris. They let me sleep very little during these three days and nights. In a little village an interrogator really started to work me over. He demanded information about the A-6 radar. Simultaneously they were working on George in another room and comparing notes. Four days later we were put in jeep-type vehicles for the four day trip to Hanoi. We traveled by night and during the day were put in separate huts and forbidden to communicate. George had a severe wound above his knee. A machete-carrying guard came in and held the long knife just over my foot. He swung it downward and just at the last second twisted the blade so I was hit by the flat side. The guard did the same thing to George scoring a direct hit on his wound - George went six feet in the air with the blinding pain. I tell this just to show the type of person with whom we were dealing - we were at their mercy. When we arrived at Hanoi I was put in the ropes. The North Vietnamese are absolute masters at rigging the body with ropes and irons. I would gladly have traded the back pain for those endured in the ropes. I was virtually helpless after spending ten hours in that torture session. A roommate-Captain Ron Bliss fed me, bathed me and literally kept me alive for the four months that I was incapacitated. I have always been a sports nut. God endows us with weapons to fight adversity. I would recall the entire line-up for both teams and then recall the plays. This passed many a long hour. There are several ingredients that one must have to survive those grim days of deprivation and. confinement . You must remember that you are from America and that you come from the greatest country in the world. Never take the American way of life for granted. Appreciate freedom. It isn't necessary to be well versed in your country's history, but it helps. Just remember that even with all its faults, there is nothing better than to be an American. Acceptance of these facts provides you with a foundation. You can attend any survival school but in the end every man can be broken if the captor sets his mind to it, but you can be broken and not be defeated. At last the time came to come home. I found that my continuous exercising program had kept me in good physical condition. A sense of humor was mandatory and now the day we had all dreamed about had finally come. Our trip back was exciting. We could not believe the reception. I was driven to the hospital in Portsmouth. I saw my wife, Pat and children - Cathy 16, Sharon 13, John Jr. 11 and Tom 9. They all looked great. The kids seemed to remember me well, but I got concerned about Tommy, my youngest. He was only three when I left and he seemed reluctant to say anything to me. I asked Pat "What's wrong with him?" She advised me to exercise a little patience. Well, Tommy and I walked off a little from the others and kind of looked at each other. For a moment there was silence. Then Tommy said the words that lifted me three feet off the ground, "Dad," he said, "you're the greatest." BIOGRAPHY Born in Buffalo, NY and raised in Tucson Graduated from Tucson High School 1950 Graduated from Hill School 1951 Enlisted in the Navy 27 August 1951 Entered Naval Academy June 1952 Graduated Naval Academy 1956 MESSAGE "I feel that most of us are the way we are, in the shape we are in, not because of the North Vietnamese, but despite 'em. And the fact that we are Americans kept us going." ============= Jack Fellowes retired from the United States Navy as a Captain in July of 1986. He and his wife Pat reside in Maryland.
March 6, 2010 The Fellowes' daughter lost her fight for life. She suffered from ALS. Our prayers and deepest sympathy are with her family at this time. =============
May 3, 2010
We are truly saddened at the sudden loss of our dear friend, Jackie Fe. His wonderful emails and charming smile will remain with us forever. Be careful of the hugs in heaven Jackie Fe.... the glass will always be full. Chuck and Mary
Vietnam POW from Virginia Beach dies at 77
Jack H. Fellowes, a Navy pilot from Virginia Beach who served six and a half years as a prisoner of war during Vietnam, died Monday at age 77 in Annapolis, Md....