MASTERSON, FREDERICK JAMES
Rick Masterson died 11/30/01 AM in an accident between Annapolis and Pax River.
Name: Frederick James Masterson Rank/Branch: United States Navy/O3 Unit: Date of Birth: 24, June 1944 Oakland CA Home City of Record: Seattle WA Date of Loss: 11 July 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 212600 North 1060800 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4J Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Refno:
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. Updated 2002.
REMARKS: 730329 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).
FREDERICK J. MASTERSON Lieutenant - United States Navy Shot Down: July 11, 1972 Released: March 29, 1973
Frederick James Masterson was born in Oakland, California on June 24, 1944, the second of three sons. As the son of a Naval Officer he grew up and attended schools in various parts of this country, as well as in England, Newfoundland, and Japan. He was graduated from high school at Camp Zama, Japan in 1962. He attended Memphis State University for one year and then entered the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, graduating in 1967. He served about one year on destroyers and then attended flight school at Pensacola, Florida. His squadron was attached to the Saratoga during the periods it went on cruise, so he was aboard when it went to Vietnam last spring. He was shot down on July 11, 1972.
In the beginning, Lt. Masterson's family were not given much hope that he had escaped from the plane when it crashed. During the first half of November the Navy sent word to his family that they had acquired a paper printed in Hanoi on July 11, 1972. In this paper there was a story of the capture of two pilots at the place he had gone down so his status was changed from MIA to POW. The North Vietnamese did not acknowledge his presence until the signing of the peace agreement so that was a day of great relief for his family.
Lt. Masterson arrived home on April 1, 1973 and for the next two weeks his family had a joyous reunion with him at the Bremerton Naval Hospital. After spending some time at home, he returned to the hospital where he continued with his debriefing and medical examinations. His physical and mental condition seems to be excellent except for the partially paralyzed right hand which was the result of a broken arm he received when he was ejected from the plane. The Doctors have not finished evaluating his injury but he is quite optimistic that the nerves can be regenerated or muscles moved to control the motion in his hand.
P.S. Good news. Lt. Masterson has returned to flight status and on June 15, 1974 married a Navy Nurse, Miss Linda Walker.
Frederick Masterson retired from the United States Navy as a Lt. Commander. He resided in Maryland until his death in 2001.
--------------------------- 04/24/02 LCdr Masterson's son here.
My father died on November 30th, 2001, following a head-on collision while on the way to work. In lieu of a detailed explanation, allow me to post the obituary notice (as sent to The Capital-Gazette, which of course subsequently "revised" the published version to include numerous inaccuracies):
Frederick James Masterson, 57, a resident of the Anchorge community in Annapolis for the past 24 years, died November 30 following an auto accident in Harwood. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Masterson was the son of retired Navy Captain and Mrs. James Aaron Masterson, currently residing in Seattle, Washington. He was born in Oakland, CA on June 24, 1944; and during his childhood he resided in various locations throughout the US and abroad. These included Oakland, CA, Snohomish, WA, Pensacola, FL, South Bend, IN, Memphis, TN, England, Newfoundland, and Japan.
A graduate of Zama American High School in Atsugi, Japan, Masterson attended Memphis State University for one year prior to receiving an appointment to the Naval Academy.
In 1963, Masterson was sworn into naval service by his father, who was, at that time, the Commanding Officer of Memphis Naval Air Technical Training Center. He served in the Naval Reserves in an enlisted capacity during his year at Memphis State, while at the same time being enrolled in the Air Force ROTC Program. After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967, Masterson served as Engineering Officer aboard the Destroyer Escort, USS John Willis. He then entered the Naval Flight Officer Program and trained in Pensacola, Florida and Glenco, Georgia. Upon receipt of his Naval Flight Officer wings, he was assigned to an F-4 Fighter Squadron at Oceana Naval Air Station. After his completion of two Mediterranean Sea cruises aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, the ship, with its squadrons, was deployed to the Western Pacific.
On July 11, 1972, Masterson's aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam. He was captured and held as a Prisoner of War until the end of the conflict.
Masterson's military honors include, among others, the Bronze Star with a Combat "V", the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with the Combat "V" and gold stars, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation and the Combat Action ribbon.
Due to permanent injuries sustained in Vietnam, he was retired from the Navy in 1977, at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He has been employed at Veridian Engineering for the past 21 years.
Masterson married a Navy nurse, Linda Walker, on June 15, 1974. In addition to his wife, he leaves behind his son, Aaron Frederick Masterson, his parents, two brothers, Norman of Annapolis and James of Bothell, WA, as well as two nieces and two nephews.
The viewing will take place at Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD, on December 12, 2001, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The funeral, with full military honors, will be held at the U S Naval Academy Chapel on December 19, 2001 at 10:30 AM. Inurnment at the Naval Academy Columbarium will follow the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Navy Relief Society, 801 North Randolph Street, Suite 1228, Arlington, VA 22203-1978.
Due to heightened security at the Naval Academy, all visitors must present photo ID. Additionally, the following applies: Cars with DOD stickers may enter through any of the three gates. Cars without DOD stickers must either park in town and walk through Gates 1 or 3, or they may park at the stadium on the blue side and take a shuttle to the Academy. Cars with handicapped tags may enter through Gate 1 and the car will be briefly inspected.
The aforementioned investigation has since been completed. The cause of death was seat belt trauma, which resulted in, among other things, a ruptured aorta.