GREGORY, ROBERT RAYMOND
Remains Returned 02 March 1988, ID'd 09 June 1988

Name: Robert Raymond Gregory
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: Udorn Airbase, Thailand 11th TRS
Date of Birth: 22 March 1932
Home City of Record: Cape Girardeau, MO
Date of Loss: 02 December 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210124N 1055059E (XJ034923)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Other Personnel in Incident: Leroy W. Stutz (released POW)
Missions: 65

Source: Compiled by Hoemcoming II and the 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: POSS DIC

SYNOPSIS: Robert Gregory was born to a poor family in Cape Girardeau,
Missouri, and had little time for the games of children. When "Greg" (or
"Bobby") did act more like a youth, his idea of fun was sometimes a bit
ambitious for his buddies.

"He liked to swim across the Mississippi River, rest and swim back," recalls
a neighbor. "He was sort of a modern-day Huckleberry Finn." Another friend
verifies the story and adds, "...he was kind of the leader of our group."
Gregory and a friend lied about their age to join the National Guard.

Despite lacking a college career behind him, Gregory ultimately achieved his
goal of becoming an Air Force officer. On leave in 1958, he eloped with
Marjorie Fisher, a 14-year old girl from a large family in Bell City,
Missouri. Marjorie followed Gregory to assignments in England and Germany.
They had two children, and, as Marjorie says, "We were a pretty happy
family. We had a lot of plans."

Leroy Stutz and Bob Gregory had been paired as a crew together since Sept.
1965 when they went through the RF-4C check out school at Shaw AFB.  They
were then paired as a crew in the 9th TAC Recce Sq at Shaw after completing
the check out.  In July 1966, they were deployed from Shaw AFB to Udorn
Thailand, assigned to fly a reconnaissance version of the Phantom F4
fighter/bomber, the RF-4C.  They were on their 65th mission into North
Vietnam when they were shot down.

Stutz spent his boyhood years on a farm in northeast Kansas, and, following
high school, farmed with his brother-in-law for two years. Stutz joined the
Kansas National Guard, and attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.
Stutz was subsequently appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where
"Elroot" graduated in 1964. After flight training and reconnaissance photo
training, Stutz was promoted to First Lieutenant and shipped to Vietnam.

On December 2, 1966, Gregory and Stutz were assigned a 55 minute photo
reconnaissance mission over Hanoi, North Vietnam. During a pass over their
target, their aircraft was hit, and the two ejected as their aircraft
crashed in the outskirts of Hanoi. After landing, the two established voice
contact with each other, and both were captured.

Stutz said that he had seen Bob Gregory several times the day of their
capture, but Gregory was unconsicous.  Both men were transported to the Hoa
Lo detention facility ("Hanoi Hilton") in Hanoi in the same truck and
arrived on the same day they were shot down. Stutz never saw Gregory again.

Stutz' wife Karen and their young son waited for his return. Marjorie and
her son and daughter also waited. The Air Force showed Marjorie blurred,
blown-up photos they thought was her husband in captivity.

In March 1973, Leroy Stutz was released from Hanoi, one of almost 600
Americans who were freed at the time. Military experts expressed their
dismay that "hundreds" thought to be prisoners were not released, and were
named on no list provided by the Vietnamese. Reports soon began to flow into
the U.S. intelligence community relating to these men. A significant number
of them indicated that Americans could still be alive in captivity.

Marjorie did the best she could with her life and her children. She never
gave up hope that one day, her "doorbell would ring one of these days. He
wouldn't mark me off if I were missing."

In 1987, Robert Gregory's photo and story was published in Life Magazine. By
then, Gregory had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. The Kansas City Times
ran an extensive article on Gregory and his family in late November 1987. In
both articles, Gregory was identified as a captive by his back-seater.

Just over 3 months later, the Vietnamese "discovered" the remains of LtCol.
Robert R. Gregory and returned them to U.S. control. The pain that Marjorie
and her children had experienced for 22 years could finally be laid to rest
with her husband. But the questions will never end. They may never how - or
when - he died.

The Stutz family had a joyful homecoming. The Gregory family's homecoming
was quite different. Over 2000 other families still wait for word of their
loved one, haunted by the still-flowing reports that Americans are still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.

Robert R. Gregory was buried at Cape County Memorial Park attended by an
honor guard from the Roth-Gregory Air Force ROTC unit from Southeast
Missouri State University, which had been named in his honor and that of a
World War II pilot. A Missing Man formation was flown by four RF4C fighter
jets.

Leroy William Stutz graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in
1964.