STACKHOUSE, CHARLES DAVID

Name: Charles David Stackhouse
Rank/Branch: United States Navy/O3
Unit: VA 76
Date of Birth: 13 March 1940  Sheboygan WI
Home City of Record: Norwood OH
Date of Loss: 25 April 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204800 North  1064000 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C #147799
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 0652

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: 730304 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).

CHARLES D. STACKHOUSE
Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy
Shot Down: April 25, 1967
Released: March 4, 1973
                    
On Wednesday (not Friday) the thirteenth of March 1940 I was born to my
parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Keith Stackhouse, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as
the number two son. William Keith, number one, was  some eighteen months my
senior. About one and a half years later, as I recall, we moved to Norwood,
Ohio, a city near Cincinnati, where I stayed until I went to the Naval
Academy on 1 July 1957.

World War II started shortly after our arrival so Dad joined the Merchant
Marine and Mom started working in a lathe factory, so Bill and I "decided"
to go to nursery school. Three different grade schools later I went  on to
Norwood High School. Here my sports coach became my father, so to speak,
since mine had passed away in 1950. The four years brought me a few athletic
and academic awards and graduation.

At the Academy I soon discovered that I was in the big league both
sports-wise and smart-wise. It was always a challenge in everything you did
- really great. One highlight was the time I returned a kickoff against
Notre Dame. Thirteen people tackled me, eleven players and two referees. At
least it seemed that way. We were playing at South Bend.

In 1961 I was graduated and went on to flight training, then to USS
Enterprise. A few cruises later, including a world cruise and a Vietnam
cruise on that ship, our squadron, VA-76, was assigned to the Bon Homme
Richard. I was flying an A4C on 25 April 1967, I had dropped my bombs, and
was in the process of shooting a Mig 17 on my wingman's tail while another
Mig was shooting at me. The second time he hit me I started rolling
uncontrollably. Since I was already on fire from the first hit from his
cannons, I elected to "visit" North Vietnam for a while. As I was arriving
by parachute in a rice paddy south of Haiphong, a thought struck me that it
was going to be a bad day.

Indeed that day, and those that followed, proved to be rather unpleasant. Only
the spirit and humor of my compatriots and our faith in God and country
sustained me. While there, however, two ideas were confirmed. First, a faith
in God and a belief in a life hereafter. Since we are only blessed with five
senses, I had difficulty in believing in a God before I was shot down. Later
after being deprived of so much, I was able to see more clearly what I really
did have (the forest and the trees adage). Those same five senses now acting
on little, were able to give stimulus to another sense - a real belief in and
friendship with God. When I would observe the delicate beauty of a flower,
feel the force of a raging storm, see the sparkling heavens on - a clear night
or feel the inner warmth of being given and giving something, if only
consideration and respect, then I knew - there really is a God. It is very
comforting.

Second, Communism is not the way to go. The blank stares of those people,
their ignorance of reason and their inability to make a decision, are
manifestations of people without freedom of thought. Propaganda and
governmental control have deprived those poor people of the opportunity to
live life with a free mind. Being able to see so clearly what were the evils
of such a form of government has made me feel proud to have done something to
prevent its growth.


Charles Stackhouse retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He
and his wife Wilma reside in Texas.