McMURRAY, FREDERICK CHARLES
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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.