McMURRAY, FREDERICK CHARLES Name: Frederick Charles McMurray Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force Unit: 336TFS/4th TFW Date of Birth: 13 April 1945 Home City of Record: Coeur d'Alene ID Date of Loss: 12 September 72 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 211700N 1065400E Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E Number 7266 Incident No: 1923 Other Personnel in Incident: Rudolph Zuberbuhler, returnee, pilot Source: Updated 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: 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 C. McMURRAY Captain - United States Air Force Shot Down: September 12, 1972 Released: March 29, 1973 I was shot down on 12 September 1972 and I was released 29 March 1973. My full name is Frederick Charles McMurray. I am a Captain in the USAF. When I was shot down I was a Navigator in a F4E. I received a compression fracture during ejection. The United States Government did not know I had been captured and listed me as an MIA. While in captivity, I was not tortured, but I was beaten. The beatings by the North Vietnamese caused a broken nose, broken tooth and ruptured stomach muscles. I will tell you about three of my experiences. These three experiences are not giving specifics on camp life but I hope they will add to the variety of the book. (1) During one of my initial interrogations the weather was quite hot and the interrogators brought in an electric fan and placed it so it would blow on them, not me. Due to the faulty wiring of the outlet, it was only working intermittently. This was bothering the interrogators so they decided to stop in the middle of the interrogation and try to fix it. While one of them was working on it he got a bad electrical shock that knocked him on his rear. Although I wasn't in a jovial mood at the time I almost broke out laughing when I saw him get shocked. (2) While I was in isolation, I had a special religious service each Sunday. I am a Roman Catholic and have gone to Mass all my life, so I know a number of prayers from the Mass. I would use some bread and imagine the darkened water they gave us (they called it tea) was wine and I would have my own little Mass. I called it my "Mini Mass." (3) I spent part of my isolation time in an area called "Heartbreak." There was a drain hole at one end of the cell. Numerous rats and mice would run between the drain hole and a hole under my door. I started noticing quite a bit of debris at the mouth of the drainage hole. Things like pieces of cloth and wood, and a couple small pieces of chewed fruit. Each night I would push out the debris. However, in the morning it was pushed back up to the mouth of the drainage hole. Finally I took all the debris put it in my (bathroom) bucket. The next morning there was some new debris there. I decided that a pack-rat was bringing it to me. Before I went to bed at night I would put a little piece of bread by the drainage hole. In the morning it was gone. I really don't like rats, but I looked forward to see what he would bring me. Most of it was garbage. However, he did bring me a few things I enjoyed, such as two pieces of chalk with which I was able to draw and write on the floor and walls. He also brought me a piece of string with which I practiced my Boy Scout knots. I realize that these experiences aren't earth shaking, but my stay in Hanoi, for the most part, was not what one would call exciting.
Frederick McMurray retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel in 1988. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished flying Cross, Bronze Star with V for Valor, Purple Heart and the POW Medal. In reflecting on his captivity, Frederick says that other incidents were more important to him, such as his marriage and the births of his children - but his experiences as a POW and his release probably did more to shape who he is today. He and his wife Judy reside in Idaho. They have three children, and are execting their first grandchild in October of 1997. McMurray enjoys golfing, skiing, fishing, reading and traveling when he is not flying 757's for Northwest Airlines.