MYERS,  ARMAND J.
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A.J. passed away March 27, 2002.
Name: Armand J. Myers
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 433rd TFS
Date of Birth: 30 April 1929
Home City of Record: Medford OR
Date of Loss: 01 June 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213500 North  1063400 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Missions: 94
Other Personnel in Incident: John Borling. 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: 730212 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
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 03/97 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO with material provided by
A.J. Myers.
ARMAND J. MYERS
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: June 1, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973
Others in Incident: Borling, John (Returnee)
I was born in Yakima, WA on 30 April 1929.
Though I left my home in Medford at the age of 14 and skipped high school, I
did manage to work my way through the University of Oregon and graduated in
1954 with a BA in Philosophy.
I entered the Air Force at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, TX. After flight
training at Hondo, Laredo and Perrin Air Force Bases, class 56L, we spent 3
years at McGuire AFB in ADC. Randy was born 21 February 1959, prior to our
move to England AFB in Louisana where we stayed one year and then moved to
Clark AB, Philippine Islands for four years.
After a year and a half at George AFB, California getting combat ready in
the F4C, I kissed my family goodbye on 8 November 1965 and flew 94 combat
missions in Laos and North Vietnam out of Ubon, Thailand before I was shot
down northeast of Hanoi on 1 June 1966. At the time I was with the 433
Tactical Fighter Squadron. I had a broken leg and ankle. I was the GIF or
guy in front, with John L. Borling GIB (guy in back).
Four years and two months after capture a great weight was lifted from my
mind when they gave me the first of the many letters that my 1st wife had
written me. I had been sick with worry that she would think that I was dead
since the Communists had not released my name. By that time also, most of us
had cellmates and the friendships that developed I shall treasure as long as
I live.
The long years of captivity, the indignities, the torture, and the prolonged
periods of solitary confinement inflicted by the communists made most of us
think we were in hell. But for me, and perhaps many others, it might more
accurately be called purgatory because it has strengthened my character and
given me time to fully realize that the really important things in life are
love of family, country and fellow man. I have forcibly learned that cynics
inspire no one. Men are inspired to elevate themselves and their society by
those who have faith in a worthy cause and in their fellow man. The
preservation of our American free elective process is one such worthy cause.
We must not let ourselves become disillusioned because the limitations of
human judgment have failed to yield the quick and happy solutions we hoped
for. We need now, more than ever, a greater dedication to strengthen and
unify our country and the strengthening of the family unit is the most
fundamental step in that direction.
This lesson I learned in purgatory. How fortunate it was that I still had a
loyal and beautiful family waiting for me. And how reassuring it was as our
fellow Americans gave us such a warm welcome home to learn that the vast
majority shared with us our firm faith in our country and our cause.
I don't think I needed that long a time in purgatory to get the message but
it certainly made me better appreciate my present paradise.

March 1997
I was shot down in June 1966, while flying an F-4C north of Hanoi. My left
leg and ankle were broken in several places. The Vietnamese made no effort
to set it. To the contrary, they used it as part of the torture. My foot
eventually set, but it was canted outward, several degrees off-center. I was
on crutches for about a year, but afterward was able to walk on the side of
my foot.
Seven years later, back in the USA at Wilford Hall Medical Center, the
orthopedic surgeon took a wedge out of the inside of the ankle, put the foot
on straight and fused the ankle. He said that there was much damage in the
heel joint, but he couldn't fuse both at the same time. "If you can't live
with the pain, come back and we'll fuse the heel," he said. After months of
misery in a cast I wanted no more operations. The Air Force made a special
mold to immobilize the heel. It helped a little. We tried steroid
injections. They didn't work at all.
As I got older, I became more incapacitated. To mow the lawn, about an
hour's job, I'd load up on aspirin to control inflammation and TUMS to keep
the aspirin from eating a hole in my stomach. Afterwards I'd elevate my feet
for about an hour. The swelling would go down and the discomfort would ease,
but I had to limit walking for the rest of the day.
---------------------
Upon his return, A. J. Myers was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit,
Distinguished Flying Cross, his fifth Air Medal, the Bronze Star (4 OLCs),
the Purple Heart (1 OLC), and the POW Medal. Years later he was awarded the
Defense Superior Service Medal for his service as DCS, Plans & Ops, Fifth
ATAF. After Air War College Myers was promoted from "Light" Colonel to "Full
Bull"- - some, he is sure, muttered "full of bull." Col. Myers retired from
the Air Force in 1983.
Reflecting on his captivity. he says, "NEVER VOLUNTEER. " Asked if he was
tortured and to describe it he responded, "Many times and it hurt like
Hell." He says the dumbest thing he did during captivity was to bet Jack Van
Loan a bottle of Chivas Regal on each Homecoming Game between Oregon State
(Jack's Alma Mater) and U. of Oregon (A. J.'s Alma Mater). It cost A. J.
five bottles.
He lives in Texas with his wife Patty. His son was killed, his daughter
lives in Michigan and her son, a USAF Academy graduate, is an attorney
working for DOT, in Wash. DC.
AJ's newest love is geneology. In between year around yard work with his
wife, he finds time to trace his family history and ponder the little
acorns that grow!
===============
03/29/2002
San Antonio News
Col. Armand J. Myers, USAF (Retired) was born in Yakima, WA, April 30, 1929,
died at his home on Wednesday, March 27, 2002. .....

 

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