FINLAY, JOHN STEWART
Name: John Stewart Finlay
Rank/Branch: O5/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 389th TFS
Date of Birth: 29 June 27
Home City of Record: Arlington VA
Date of Loss: 28 April 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 171300 North 1064400 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Wesley Rumble, returnee
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: 730314 RELEASED BY DRV
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
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
JOHN S. FINLAY III
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: April 28, 1968
Released: March 14, 1973
I enlisted in the United States Navy on 25 October 1944 and served as an
Aviation Radioman aboard PBMs and PB4-Y2s until my discharge on 28 June 1946.
I then enrolled at the University of Maryland and graduated with a BS in
Biological Sciences June 1949. I was commissioned in the Air Force 16
September 1949. Spending the next few years in research and development
programs concurrent with additional studies at Ohio State University, I
arrived at the summer of 1953 with a Masters in Bacteriology and acceptance
in the Air Force flight training program.
I received my wings with Class 55M on 29 April 1955 and was assigned to a tour
in the Air Training Command. It wasn't long before I managed to get into
fighters, the first of which was the F-84-F in the 27th Fighter Bomber Wing.
In November 1957, I was transferred overseas, first to Chaumont Air Base,
France and then to Lakenheath Air Base, England, flying F-100s until July
1960, when I was transferred to the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell
AFB, Alabama. Stateside for the next few years, I served at Headquarters,
Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Christmas of 1964, my
family and I returned to Europe and duty with the 50th TFW at Hahn Air Base,
Germany, where I flew the F-lOOs and F-4-Ds. I was Commander of the 10th TFS
from July 1 until I was reassigned to the 366th TFW at Danang, South Vietnam.
I arrived at Danang on 28 Jan 1968 and after a number of missions in the F-4-D
Phantom jet, I was shot down and captured on 28 April 1968. Most of my
internment was spent at the well-known "Hanoi Hilton" (Hoa Lo Prison). I was
released on 14 March 1973 when a beautiful C-141 flew my group to Clark Air
base, Philippine Islands. Then on to Maxwell AFB on St. Patrick's Day.
Back to Florida on 30 March 1973,1 was greeted by hundreds of friends and
well-wishers and a lively 25 pound, seven and one-half foot long Boa
Constrictor which my children had purchased when I was shot down, for the
purpose of measuring the length of my absence. It had grown from 12 inches in
the five years I was gone.
My wife, Carolyn, and I were married in Rockville, Md. on the 3rd of June
1949. We have 3 children: Carol Ann, 22, now married to Bill Baker, a
freelance writer, and residing in Cape Canaveral; our son, John IV, 21, is a
junior at Florida Southern College at Lakeland, Florida; and our youngest,
Robert, born in France, is a high school sophomore.
Carolyn, Robert and I are residing in Satellite Beach, Florida where I am
assigned to the Air Force Eastern Test Range at nearby Patrick Air Force Base.
I intend to stay with the Air Force until retirement. It's great to be home !
John Finlay retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and
his wife Carolyn resided in Florida until his death Oct 30, 2011. John IV
made a career in the United States Army, has 2 sons (John V and Brian).
John's family is planning a burial at Arlington on next June 29 - 2012 -