ROBINSON, PAUL K. Name: Paul K. Robinson Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force Unit: 469TFS, 385 TFW Date of Birth: 05 January 1939 Home City of Record: Galion OH Date of Loss: 01 July 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 211600N 1061200E Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E, #277 Missions: 350 SVN, 137 NVN Incident No: 1889 Other Personnel in Incident: Kevin J. Cheney, returnee, navigator Source: Compiled 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: 730328 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). PAUL K. ROBINSON JR. Major - United States Air Force Shot Down: July 1, 1972 Released: March 28, 1973 I have had three wonderful months since my release from the Hanoi prison camps to become re-acquainted with my family and to enjoy the overwhelming reception that the American people have accorded us. I will never be able to adequately thank all of you who wore my bracelet or in other ways have supported me, my family, and America's cause in Southeast Asia. In face of this impossibility, I shall nevertheless endeavor here to express my deep appreciation for your thoughts and efforts. I was raised in Galion, Ohio, graduated from the USAF Academy in 1962. I attended pilot training in Arizona; flew the F-100 "Super Sabre" at RAF Lakenheath, England in 1964-67 and again in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. In 1969, I attended "I'lnstitute d'Etudes Politiques" in Paris, France and received a Master's Degree in International Relations. I subsequently returned to Southeast Asia in the F4E "Phantom." On 1 July 1972, six months after arriving at Korat AB, Thailand, my navigator and I were shot down by two surface-to-air missiles (SAM's). We were extremely fortunate to escape serious injury. We were immediately captured upon landing since we had to eject just north of Hanoi. While I was roughed up a bit on capture and kept in solitary confinement for three weeks during an initial interrogation phase, my treatment could be considered as humane despite the inadequate diet and the mental stress imposed on us by the indoctrination process attempts of the North Vietnamese. Although not being able to really believe it was happening, I left Gia Lam airport on 28 March 1973 and received the first of many overwhelming receptions at Clark AB. I was then re-united with my family at Sheppard AFB in Texas. I would like to emphasize that my treatment as a POW, while not in accordance with International conventions, was relatively good. This situation was made possible because of the American government and the American people. The letter writing and bracelet wearing campaigns helped to focus world wide attention on the inhumane treatment the POWs were receiving at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Because of this pressure, treatment started improving radically in October of 1969. The POWs in Hanoi at this time had not lost their pride nor their faith in America. Their determination to continue to resist the enemy at great personal sacrifice was also ultimately instrumental in improving their plight. I also owe a great deal to my family, Reta, my wife, and our two children, Paul K. III (8), and Heather (6), have followed and supported me throughout my Air Force career and kept the home fire burning during my recent absence. Reta bought a home in Aurora, Colorado after I was shot down and did an exemplary job of keeping a home and being both a mother and father to our children despite the mental anguish she had to endure. The prayers and concern of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul K. Robinson, my friends, and relatives throughout the world were of great comfort to us. Reta and I would like to thank you for your support. We can single out three things that made this experience bearable - faith in God, faith in America, and faith in ourselves. We will never be able to repay President Nixon and his supporters for their courageous stand in Vietnam. We will never be able to repay you for your continuous support. We are reconfirmed in our belief that if America is united, with the help of God, we can and will do the impossible of assuring peace in the world. March 1997 Paul Kurtz Robinson, Jr. Biographical Sketch Paul K. "P.K." Robinson was born January 5, 1939, in Galion, Ohio. He graduated from Galion Senior High School in 1957. During his school years, he was on the National Honor Society and lettered on the football and baseball teams. Following graduation from High School, "P.K." attended one year of college at the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio. During this time, he applied for and was accepted as a member of the newly formed United States Air Force Academy. As a cadet, he was named to the Superintendent's, the Dean's and the Commandant's lists. He was active in many sports and served as a member of the Honor Society. As a First Classman, he was a Group Commander. Following graduation as a Distinguished Graduate in June 1962, "P.K." attended pilot training at Williams AFB, Arizona. He subsequently completed F-100 training at Luke AFB, Arizona as he was selected for future assignments as a fighter pilot. His first operational tour was at RAF Lakenheath. During this tour, he was named as a "Select Crew". He was then assigned to Tuy Hoa AB, RVN, Southeast Asia. During this tour and while assigned as a "Misty FAST-FAG" at Phu Cat AB, he completed over 250 combat missions, including 101 missions over North Vietnam. He participated in many of the key battles of the Vietnam War including the Dak To Offensive, the siege at Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive. "P.K." was then selected as an Olmsted Scholar and, after language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, attended l'lnstitut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, France. He obtained a "diplome" in Intemational Relations and graduated with "laureat" honors. He then returned to Southeast Asia as an F-4E pilot flying out of Korat RTAB, Thailand. On July 1,1972, while on a mission north of Hanoi, "P.K." was shot down by a Surface-to-Air Missile and was captured by the North Vietnamese militia. He was incarcerated in various prisons in the Hanoi area and was released on March 28,1973, during Operation Homecoming. "P.K." served on the staff of the Air Force Department of Legislative Liaison for four years, was the Deputy for Operations at RAF Bentwaters and helped introduce the A10 into the European theater of operations, was the commander of the 355th Tactical Training Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona and served as a Division Director on a Pentagon tour. "P.K." retired from active duty as a Colonel while serving as the Vice Commander, Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis AFB, Nevada in July 1988. After his Air Force career, "P.K." began a second career with First Interstate Bank of Nevada. He served in several divisions and branches as a loan officer and as a Branch Manager. He was named as a Business Loan Officer in July, 1996 when Wells Fargo Bank bought out First Interstate Bank. "P.K." is a Vice President with Wells Fargo Bank. "P.K." is active in various endeavors to include church, snow skiing, hiking, hunting and boating. He is a member of the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and the Nellis AFB Civilian/Military Council. He is the past State President of the Air Force Association and a member of the Air Force Association's Constitution Committee, the City Director for Crown Ministries and the Church Chairman for his church. He is married to Reta, his wife of 33 years. They have two children.