SCHWERTFEGER, WILLIAM R.
|Name: William R. Schwertfeger
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 433rd TFS
Date of Birth:22 September 1945
Home City of Record: Enid OK
Date of Loss: 16 February 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 170900 North 1064600 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Ralph Galati, returnee
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. 2017
REMARKS: 730328 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
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
WILLIAM R. SCHWERTFEGER
Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: February 16, 1972
Released: March 28, 1973
I was born in Enid, Oklahoma on 22 September 1945 to Dean and Jean
Schwertfeger. I lived on a farm in Northern Oklahoma until I was thirteen.
We then moved to Medford, Oklahoma. I went to Medford High School and
graduated in 1963. I then went to College at Oklahoma State University and
graduated in 1967 with a BS in Physical Science. I was commissioned through
ROTC and attended Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. After receiving my
Wings, I went to the F-4 at George AFB, California. I was then assigned to
the 8th TFW, 433rd TFS, Ubon, Thailand. My first Southeast Asia tour was as
a GIB From August 1969 to June 1970. I then returned to George AFB to
upgrade and returned to the 433rd TFS in April 1971.
I was married to Vonya on 22 March 1969. She stayed in Caldwell, Kansas
during both my Southeast Asia tours. We have no children.
I was shot down on the 16th of February 1972 just north of the DMZ by two
SAMs. My GIB (Lt. Ralph Galati) and I ejected safely. We arrived at the
"Hanoi Hilton" on 17 February 1972. We had been captured by the local
militia. I was imprisoned for thirteen and a half months.
During my time in Hanoi, my love, and knowledge of God increased greatly.
During my stay, God was there at my side to hold my hand and lead the way so
we all could "Return with Honor!"
I am planning a trip to the Bahamas for some rest and sun. I then plan on
being assigned to Nellis AFB, Nevada. Since I've returned home I am doing
all I can to help with the MIA situation. Each time I speak anywhere I plead
with the people to "please do not forget the MlAs."
William Schwertfeger retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt.
Colonel. He and his wife Vonya reside in Kansas.
Vietnam pilot, former POW selected as 2016 Holm Center Distinguished Alumni
Schwertfeger earned an array of awards during his time in service including a Prisoner of War Medal, a Silver Star with two devices, a Distinguished ...