SCHULER, ROBERT HARRY JR. Remains Identified 09/2004
Name: Robert Harry Schuler, Jr. Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Takhli AB TH Date of Birth: 14 December 1935 Home City of Record: Wellsburg NY Date of Loss: 15 October 1965 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 214800N 1044700E (VH775998) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D Refno: 0164
Other Personnel In Incident: In another F105D, same location: Thomas W. Sima (released POW)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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 2005.
SYNOPSIS: Capt. Robert H. Schuler, Jr. and Capt. Thomas W. Sima were assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Beginning in August 1964, the squadron performed rotational duty to Southeast Asia, and flew out of Takhli Air Base Thailand.
Their aircraft, The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud"), in its various versions, flew more missions against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. It also suffered more losses, partially due to its vulnerability, which was constantly under revision. Between 1965 and 1971, the aircraft was equipped with armor plate, a secondary flight control system, an improved pilot ejection seat, a more precise navigation system, better blind bombing capability and ECM pods for the wings.
Schuler and Sima were pilots of separate F105D aircraft which departed Takhli on October 15, 1965 on a combat mission over North Vietnam in Ha Tiang. During the mission, both aircraft were hit by enemy fire. Sima ejected safely and was captured and taken to Hanoi. Schuler's fate is still unknown.
Interestingly, Schuler and Sima were downed not many miles from a prison at Yen Bai which was later known to have been a detention facility for American Prisoners of War. Their combat missions in that area of North Vietnam, along the Red River qualifies both as "River Rats," a fighter pilot association.
Robert H. Schuler was declared Missing in Action. Sima was luckier. In 1973, 591 American prisoners were released from prison camps in Vietnam, and among them was Sima. Schuler apparently never surfaced in the prison system in which Sima was held, and he never learned his fate for certain.
When the war ended, refugees from the communist-overrun countries of Southeast Asia began to flood the world, bringing with them stories of live GI's still in captivity in their homelands. Since 1975, over 10,000 such stories have been received. Many authorities believe that hundreds of Americans are still held in the countries in Southeast Asia.
The U.S. Government operates on the "assumption" that one or more men are being held, but that it cannot "prove" that this is the case, allowing action to be taken. Meanwhile, low-level talks between the U.S. and Vietnam proceed, yielding a few sets of remains when it seems politically expedient to return them, but as yet, no living American has returned.
Robert H. Schuler Jr. was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was maintained missing in action. Thomas W. Sima was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was a prisoner of war.
Remains of upstate military pilot identified in Vietnam
ELMIRA, N.Y. (AP) - The remains of an upstate native missing since his fighter-bomber was shot down in Vietnam nearly four decades ago have been identified, according to the head of a veterans' group and a family member. Air Force Capt. Robert Harry Schuler Jr. of Ashland was declared missing in action Oct. 15, 1965, when his F-105 Thunderchief went down over North Vietnam......
MIA vet laid to rest in Franklindale Towanda Daily Review - Towanda,PA,USA
... "Today we bring closure to the long mystery of one more POW/MIA from Vietnam," said Air Force chaplain Shawn Menchion said at the graveside ceremony. Capt. ...
MIA vet laid to rest in Franklindale BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN 05/22/2005
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP - Six pallbearers from the McGuire Air Force Base's Elite Honor Guard carried a casket from a hearse to the Schuler family plot in the Franklindale Cemetery in Franklin Township Saturday afternoon......
cDaily and Sunday Review 2005