SMITH, WAYNE OGDEN
Name:Wayne Ogden Smith Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O2 Unit: Date of Birth: 10 August 1943 Home City of Record: Largo FL Date of Loss: 18 January 1968 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 211800 North 1061200 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Refno:
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: 730314 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).
WAYNE OGDEN SMITH Captain - United States Air Force Shot Down: January 18, 1968 Released: March 14, 1973
BIOGRAPHY: Captain Wayne O. Smith was born on 10 August 1943 and attended high school in Louisville, Kentucky, then entered the US Air Force Academy in the summer of 1961 and graduated in June 1965. He attended pilot training at Moody AFB, Valdosta, Georgia and was awarded his wings in September 1966 with class 67-B. He spent his first operational assignment with the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida. While there he married his pretty brunette wife, Margaret Jean Frazier of Dunedin, Florida. He deployed with his squadron of F-4Ds to Ubon, Thailand in July 1967 and after 69 combat missions over North Vietnam, he was shot down on 18 January 1968.
Captain Smith is now residing with his wife, Jean, in Clearwater, Florida. They have no children (a temporary situation, assures Captain Smith). For the moment they are accompanied by their two happy toy poodles, "Jolie" and "Snooper." Captain Smith has not made any firm decisions concerning his future career. "About my future," he said, "I made one decision while I was in North Vietnam, and that was not to make any firm decisions until I could investigate every opportunity and then, with the help of my wife, decide. My goal is happiness and satisfaction that comes with accomplishment."
MESSAGE: As many other returned POWs may tell you, I do not believe my long detention in North Vietnam was a complete loss. My greatest gain was a new appreciation for the things in life we usually take for granted. Freedom, first of all, is really a very precious thing. I feel I learned a great deal about human nature and myself especially, under trying circumstances. I also became aware of my spiritual needs as a prisoner. Without references to knowledge or facts, I was forced to assess my total accumulation of knowledge and I became aware of how small this sum was. We picked each other's brains to quench our thirst for knowledge but could never really be confident of our facts. Now, in my second shot at life, I will attempt, through books and/or educational institutions, to fill the many holes and answer the many questions I could not answer as a prisoner of war.
Now that I have returned I am continuing to learn a great deal as a result of our tragic circumstances. I can now better appreciate what the wives of the POWs and MlAs have gone through. Words cannot express my gratitude and respect for their support and efforts while we were being detained, as well as my gratitude and respect for all the fine Americans who were so genuinely concerned. I have received letters from people I do not know and from children who probably can't really comprehend what a POW is. Some letters I can't finish reading without tears welling in my eyes. There are so many wonderful Americans in this country and now I am learning from them.
Wayne and his family currently reside in IA. ---------------------------------------------
Posted on: Monday, 31 July 2006, 03:00 CDT
'Hanoi Hilton' Memories: EX-POW RECOUNTS CODE THAT KEPT PRISONERS' SPIRITS HIGH By Greg Kocher, The Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.
Jul. 31--The numbers and alphabet that Wayne Ogden Smith learned as a student in Richmond became instrumental in keeping his sanity during five years and two months as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.......
Reach Greg Kocher in the Nicholasville bureau at (859) 885-5775 or firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com].