STEWART, PETER JOSEPH

Name: Peter Joseph Stewart
Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
Unit: 8 TFW Headquarters
Date of Birth: 12 August 1918
Home City of Record: Winter Haven FL
Date of Loss: 15 March 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212300N 1030000E (TJ928640)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Refno: 0274

Other Personnel In Incident: Martin J. Scott (missing)

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 1998.

REMARKS: POSS DEAD IR 1516032672

SYNOPSIS: On March 15, 1966, Capt. Martin R. Scott was the pilot of an F4C
Phantom fighter/bomber assigned a mission over North Vietnam. His
bombardier/navigator on the flight was veteran pilot LtCol. Peter J.
Stewart. The flight departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand, in the late afternoon
for the armed reconnaissance flight that would take them over the city of
Dien Binh Phu in North Vietnam. Scott and Stewart were number 2 in a
two-plane flight.

About one mile south of the Dien Bien Phu airport, the flight leader spotted
two trucks on the main highway and directed the number two crew to make a
low bombing pass. Moments later, the leader observed what he described as an
dense explosion resembling a napalm drop in the target area. Repeated
attempts to raise the number 2 plane failed. Scott and Stewart were declared
missing.

Because the plane went down in a heavily populated area deep in enemy
territory, an organized search for Scott and Stewart was not possible. There
was no evidence of survival.

In 1972, the Defense Department received a report from a refugee who stated
he was shown the crash site and the graves of the two pilots. He stated that
Stewart's plane was the only plane shot down in that area, but could not
specify the date or year. The DOD added, "POSS DEAD IR1516032672" to Scott's
records. This report was disproven in 1986 on the basis that Scott's plane
was not the only plane shot down in the area (in fact there were several),
but the data remark remained, and the Air Force cannot verify why the "only
plane"statement was made.

In 1985, a returned POW recalled that Peter Stewart's name was one of those
passed around in POW camps before Americans were released in 1973. In 1975,
the Stewart family identified a photo of a prisoner of war as Peter Stewart.
Whether Scott's name was ever mentioned as a possible POW is not known.

Whether Scott and Stewart survived the crash of their plane on March 15,
1966 will not be known with certainty until either they themselves or their
remains are returned. Although over 10,000 reports concerning Americans
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government, we have
yet to discover the formula that would secure the freedom of these men.
Martin Scott and Peter Stewart could be among them. Isn't it time we brought
these men home?

Peter J. Stewart and Martin J. Scott were both promoted to the rank of
Colonel during the period they were maintained Missing in Action.