RUDLOFF, STEPHEN ANTHONY
Name: Stephen Anthony Rudloff Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Fighter Squadron 92, USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) Date of Birth: Home City of Record: New York NY Date of Loss: 10 May 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 205700N 1062000E (XJ384165) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4J Note: Third Tour Other Personnel in Incident: Harry L. Blackburn (remains returned)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK.
REMARKS: 730328 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: Commander Harry L. Blackburn Jr. was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 92 onboard the USS CONSTELLATION. On May 10, 1972 he launched with his radar intercept officer (RIO), Lt. Stephen A. Rudloff in their F4J Phantom fighter aircraft. They were assigned on a flak suppression mission against the Guan Lang Airfield near Hai Duong, Hai Hung Province, North Vietnam.
After effectively hitting two anti-aircraft positions, Cdr. Blackburn was in the process of engaging enemy MiG aircraft when his plane was hit by ground fire and he and Rudloff were forced to eject from the aircraft. Both cremen were seen by other aircraft to safely eject with good parachutes, and were seen to land on the ground several hundred yards apart.
Blackburn and Rudloff were initially placed in a category of Missing in Action, which was later changed to captured (POW). Rudloff was released as a POW in 1973, but Blackburn was not, nor did his name appear on any list provided by the Vietnamese. The U.S. does not classify persons as prisoner of war without reason, and doubtless received intelligence to confirm the capture of both men.
When Rudloff was released, he reported that he was taken prisoner and locked in a room in a nearby compound. The night of his capture, Rudloff heard a vehicle drive up to the building and saw a light go on in the room next to his. Next, he heard a noise which he described as a "hand slapping a face". Thinking the man in the next room might be Blackburn, he began to shout, but was immediately hushed by the guards. The light in the next room was then turned off and the vehicle drove away. Rudloff believes this is the last contact he had with his pilot.
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
STEPHEN A. RUDLOFF Lieutenant - United States Navy Shot Down: May 10, 1972 Released: March 28, 1973
My name is Stephen Anthony Rudloff, and I was born in Brooklyn, New York on 19 February, 1945. I graduated from Lafayette High School in 1962, attended St. John's University for two years, and joined the Navy in September 1964. I received my commission, wings, and designation as a Radar Intercept Officer in October 1965, and upon completion of my training in the F4, I made two cruises to Vietnam as a member of Fighter Squadron One Five Four. Following that tour of duty, I reported to the Naval Plant Representative Office, McDonnell-Douglas Corporation, in St. Louis, Missouri, where I remained for two years. Following refresher training in the F-4, I reported to Fighter Squadron Ninety-Two in July 1971, and deployed to Vietnam aboard USS Constellation in October. I was shot down over Hai Duong on 10 May 1972, and was repatriated on 28 March 1973.
My wife, Marie, is a native of Arkansas and we were married on 8 June 1968. We have two sons, Geoffrey and Adrian, and a daughter, Allyson.
I would appreciate your printing the following personal message:
On our ward in Clark Hospital, I came across a book entitled "Unforgettable Faces" by Shary Aument. It contained one hundred sketches of prisoners of war and men missing in action, drawn from photographs sent to Mrs. Aument by the relatives of these men. In the author's preface, Shary wrote, "As I make each drawing, I study the face in the photograph. The eyes seem to gaze directly into mine and I seem to hear a voice whispering, 'My name is Sam . . . Rick . . . Charles . . . Danny . . . Walt . . . Ed . . . Bill . . . Please help me. . . Please don't let me be forgotten. . .' "
Our fellow Americans didn't forget us, but I'd like to ask those of you who read this for one more favor. Please don't ever forget those courageous men who won't be coming home.
Stephen Rudloff retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He lives in New York