SCHWEITZER, ROBERT JAMES
Deceased

Name:Robert James Schweitzer
Rank/Branch: United States Navy/O5
Unit:
Date of Birth:  Pennsylvania
Home City of Record: Philadelphia PA
Date of Loss: 05 January 1968
Country of Loss:  North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204900 North  1064100 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E
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).

ROBERT J.  SCHWEITZER                                       
Commander -  United States Navy
Shot Down: January 5, 1968
Released: March 14, 1973

I was born and raised in upstate Pennsylvania - graduated  from Germantown
High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950. I enlisted in the U.S.
Navy in June 1950; served at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Willow Grove,
Pennsylvania until February 1952. I took flight training as a Naval Aviation
Cadet at NAS Pensacola, Florida and NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Finishing in
June 1953, I was commissioned an Ensign, USNR and designated Naval Aviator.
From August 1953 to August 1956 I flew with Attack Squadron 95,  flying A-1
's at NAS Alameda, California and two WESTPAC cruises aboard U.S.S. HORNET
CVA-12 and U.S.S. ORISKANY CVA-34. From September 1956 to August 1959 I
served as Flight and Academic Instructor at NAS Whiting Field, Milton,
Florida; from then until January 1962 I was on the staff of the
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor. From February 1962 to
December 1964 my assignment was Attack Squadron 155, flying A-4's at NAS
Lemoore, California and two WESTPAC cruises aboard U.S.S. CORAL SEA CVA-43
and U.S.S. KEARSARGE CVS-33. In February 1965 and until December 1966, I
served as Officer Assignment Officer, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington,
D.C. (with  ex-POWs Capt. By Fuller, Commander Ev Southwick and Commander Ed
Estes).

My last assignment began in January 1967. On 5 January 1968, while flying
A-4's with Attack Squadron 144 at NAS Lemoore, California and aboard U.S.S.
Kitty Hawk CVA-63, I was shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese.
From that date until 14 March 1973 my residence was the Hanoi Hilton.

During this incarceration, my wife, Gwen, and my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred
L. Schweitzer of Oreland, Pennsylvania were extremely active in POW-MIA
affairs, making appearances, speeches and distributing bracelets.

I married the former Gwen Yelland of Clarksburg, California on 15 September
1956. Our two sons, Karl and Eric, were born on 1 January 1959 and 30
October 1960, respectively.

When a man returns from a long, frustrating period of degradation, deceit
and misinformation, he is subconsciously apprehensive of changes in his
homeland. To be sure, the new clothing styles, grooming habits, "liberation"
of magazines and entertainment media could all have a "shock" effect - until
you realize that these are only surface indicators of a new awareness, a new
reality, a new concern for people. This was poignantly demonstrated by the
spontaneous, overwhelming outpouring of love and pride bestowed upon us
returning POWs at every stop on our route and continuing here at home. I
have never felt so humble nor so proud of my country and especially, my
countrymen. Though we have problems and dissentions, this new awareness,
reality and concern will certainly bind us and our efforts for a better
America and a better world.

Cdr. Schweitzer died in an automobile accident 24 January 1974.  He  was
promoted to Captain posthumously and buried at sea from USS Ranger, 4
February 1974. To the last he was making speeches to tell of his experiences
and to generate concern for the MIA 's.