SCHOEFFEL, PETER VANRUYTER
Name: Peter Vanruyter Schoeffel Rank/Branch: O4/United States Navy Unit: VA 15 Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Alexandria VA Date of Loss: 04 October 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 205300 North 1064100 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C Missions: 125 Other Personnel in Incident: none
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. Updated 2000.
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). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
PETER V. SCHOEFFEL Commander - United States Navy Shot Down: October 4, 1967 Released: March 13, 1973
I entered the Naval Academy in 1950 on a Presidential appointment and was graduated in 1954. My first duty assignment was on board the USS Eaton which was home ported in Norfolk but which was just entering the Mediterranean when I joined her. I stayed with the Eaton for two years before going to flight training in 1956. Having earned my wings, in 1958 I joined Attack Squadron Sixty Six at Oceana, Virginia, and I made several cruises to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean before being detached in 1962 to attend the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
After I received a degree in Operations Research, I worked in Washington D.C. for a year, returning to an A-4 Squadron, VA-15, at Cecil Field, Florida. The A-4 squadron was deployed to Viet Nam in early 1966 and again in May 1967. I was on a strike near a communist target at Haiphong when I was shot down by anti-aircraft ground fire on October 4, 1967.
A few hours after my capture I was taken to what I later learned was "Heartbreak Hotel". Five and a half years and many grey hairs later, I was returned to freedom.
My five and a half years in communist prisons taught me, as nothing had before, the value of a governmental system whose powers are limited by principles that are not directly political. However clear, systematic, and idealistic the basic concept of benefitting all men by common ownership of production may seem, the results as applied by communists are unbridled tyranny. An important thing we should do is not to be simply anti-communist, but to understand the difficult, turbulent, and illogical processes that self-government in a free society of diverse but accommodating interests imposes on us.
Furthermore we must learn better what it is we have in our Constitution. Especially, I believe, we should try to learn why the Constitution takes its present form and content. It seems to me that intelligent patriotism must start with the knowledge of what we have and why we have it. Only then can we refute the glittering simplifications that lead to tyranny.
Peter Schoeffel retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his wife Jane reside in Florida.
From - Tue May 09 11:57:33 2000
My father, R.Adm Malcolm Schoeffel (deceased), was the first CO of the USS Cabot (CVL-28) in WWII. The ship forged an heroic record and would be more famous but for her size and the fact that when Ernie Pyle rode her and wrote of her, he was forced by wartime censorship to refer to her only as "The Iron Woman." She remains as the last existing escort carrier and is the closest to her wartime configuration of any existing WWII carrier, still mounting her 40mm AA guns. At this time a last ditch effort is being made to save her from the breakers and transform her into a museum/memorial. Please visit http://www.ironwoman.org. (NOT .com) After you do so I believe you will want to assist in some way. Money and publicity are needed.