NAUGHTON, ROBERT JOHN

Name: Robert John Naughton
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Navy
Unit: VA 113
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Cedar Rapids IA
Date of Loss: 18 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213500 North  1054200 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Missions: 194
Other Personnel in Incident: none

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: 730304 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 - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

ROBERT J. NAUGHTON
Lieutenant Commander- United States Navy
Shot Down: May 18, 1967
Released: March 4, 1973

I am a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and am married to Peggy McCarty
Naughton. Peggy was a Regional and State Coordinator for the National League
of Families and served as State President of the Iowans Care for POW/MIA
organization. I am proud of the efforts she put forth publicly in behalf of
the POW/MIA's while raising our three sons, Kevin, age 10, Timothy, age 9,
and Michael, age 8. She also earned her Master of Science Degree during my
absence.

I was graduated from Loras College, Dubuque, lowa in 1960 with a B.A. degree
in Mathematics. While attending Loras I was a member of the varsity
basketball team.

At the time I was shot down over North Vietnam, I was attached to Attack
Squadron 113, flying an A4C from the carrier USS Enterprise. I was captured
on May 18, 1967 a few miles north of Than Hoa, North Vietnam.

The most profound effect of my early days of capture consisted of a
realization that for the first time in my life I was completely on my own.
All the training I had received was now behind me, and, possibly for a long
time, no one would be coming to my aid. When we found ourselves in trouble
in America, we could count on being given the benefit of the doubt or on a
little kindness. Now, in prison, it was entirely up to me to perform and I
could not expect any breaks.

The lesson of humility was very difficult for me to accept. It was not easy
for a man to admit that he was not as tough as he imagined. But, once
accepted, this truth opened a door of knowledge to self introspection that
few people have known outside of a prisoner of war situation. I feel the
nearly six years spent in personal introspection was my greatest gain. I was
able to establish a hierarchy of values, to determine what is important in
life, to gain an insight as to what motivates me, and to achieve an
appreciation for life itself, the value of time, the worth of education, and
the beauty of being loved and to love. Some of these values were given to me
by my fellow prisoners, either by example or through thought provoking
discussions.

When we POW's say faith sustained us, I am speaking of three types of
confidence: first, the assurance that the United States of America valued
our lives and would make every effort to retrieve us; secondly, the trust we
had in ourselves as a unit; and finally, the inspiration we realized from
the man next to us. This inspiration came in the form of a kind word when
one's spirits were low, an example of strength of character, or perhaps, as
a model of uncomplaining suffering.

For me, prayer took on a new dimension. I came to realize God could not
answer my selfish requests without upsetting the normal course of events in
the world. But He never failed me when I sought courage and strength to face
the inevitable.

We POW's and the people of the United States have endured many hardships
during the war in Vietnam. My hope now is that we POW's are not the only
ones who accomplished some serious thinking. If Americans can apply the
lessons learned to intelligently determine which direction our country will
move, and then, enthusiastically embrace the responsibility all citizens
have to support those leaders with whom they agree, I am confident our gains
will far exceed any losses.


Robert Naughton retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his
wife Peggy reside in Texas.

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