MERRITT, RAYMOND JAMES

Name: Raymond James
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 67th TFS
Date of Birth: 07 October 1929
Home City of Record: Portlan OR
Date of Loss: 16 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 195900N 1055500E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105
Missions: 40 (NOTE: Ray Merritt flew the F-84 with 100 missions during the
Korean War)
Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK March 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, personal interviews.

REMARKS: 021273 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).

RAYMOND J. MERRITT
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down:  September 16, 1965
Released: February 12, 1973

What was it that kept us going under such adverse conditions? I would say
that it was a deep sense of responsibility to America and all that it stands
for. Perhaps it could be summed up in that phrase that I have seen on a
bumper sticker depicting the American Flag with these words: "These colors
don't run." This may sound trite but I believe if we all would take a few
moments and consider the benefits and privileges we have as Americans, then
we can also ask ourselves, "What can I do to deserve and keep these
blessings?" The answer, if you will, is perhaps a return to more patriotism
and honor amongst ourselves. I don't feel the image of America has fallen as
so many have been heard to say, but we can certainly move forward and,
hopefully, our example will be the impetus to start that movement.

I am a career officer, having obtained my commission through the Aviation
Cadet route. I flew combat in Korea during that conflict and flying still
remains my first love. I have had a number of "nonflying" assignments but
readily volunteered to get back into the cockpit and still want to do it
again.

I was born in Portland, Oregon on 7 October 1929 but grew up in the area of
Los Angeles and San Gabriel, California. Upon completion of two years of
College at Pasadena City College, I entered the Air Force.

At the time I was shot down and captured I was on temporary duty at Korat
Air Base in Thailand, flying the F-l 05. I was downed early on the morning
of 16 September 1965 and captured almost immediately by armed peasants. I
was imprisoned nearly seven and a half years. I never had any doubt that
someday I would return home again. With a philosophy of living for today and
let tomorrow take care of itself, plus the kind and encouraging words of
other POWs, long days were turned into short weeks and short years. My faith
in God never wavered and His will was that I return home again.

My future plans are to remain within the Air Force and do my best to be
worthy of the honor you have given me.

==========================================
Raymond Merritt retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. he
and his wife Dottie reside in California.


 
 

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