Name: Richard Charles Brenneman
Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O2
Unit: 555 TFS
Date of Birth: 25 March 1942
Home City of Record: Mishawaka IN
Date of Loss: 08 November 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212000 North  1041800 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 0896

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.


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).

Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: November 8,1967
Released: March 14,1973

Captain Brenneman's home town is Mishawaka, Indiana. His father, Lloyd, is
employed by the Indiana Bell Telephone Co. and his mother, Hildegard, is
employed by one of the home town banks. His sister, Druzelle, has recently
received her Master's degree in English and his brother, Bryan, is now a
freshman at Bethel College in Mishawaka.

He graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1960 and that fall entered Indiana
University from which he graduated with a degree in Biology. In June of 1965
he was married and in October of that year he entered Air Force pilot training
at Laughlin AFB, Texas. Upon graduating in October of 1966 he received the
Distinguished Military Graduate Award, and shortly thereafter he and his wife
decided to go their separate ways in life.

His way included training in the F-4 Phantom at Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson,
Arizona, and then on to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon, Thailand.
He was shot down over North Vietnam on 8 November 1967. His release on 14
March 1973 began a new life.

That new life will continue in the Air Force with his return to the fighter
pilot business. He intends to enjoy life, to remain a bachelor for some time,
to further his education, to travel, and to pursue some interests in the
business world.

A personal message from Captain Brenneman:  I would like to express my
appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful reception that my fellow
Americans have given me upon my return. It has indeed made this time the
greatest time in my life.

I would also like to convey a heartfelt "Thank You" for the way in which the
American People have supported us during our time away. Words will never fully
explain how we appreciate your efforts in our behalf; efforts which included
pressure upon the North Vietnamese to improve our conditions of captivity -
pressure which was successful.

America is a beautiful, wonderful country - a fact that arises not only from
the land itself but even more from its people. Thank You.

Richard Brenneman retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel.
He and his wife Grace reside in California.

Information on Richard Brenneman can also be found on pages 22 and 23 of
Benjamin Schemmer's "THE RAID." It states:

The prisoners at Son Tay got to spend more time outside than in other camps
because the North Vietnamese were enlarging the compound, building a new
interrogation room and a small kitchen-dining hall for the guards.  Before
Mo Baker arrived and began his enthusiastic assault on the brick pile, Ralph
Gaither and the other POWs had been put to work building a new compound
wall, about 60 feet beyond the north wall that lay just outside the Opium
Den and Beer House. The interrogation room Mo Baker was breaking up bricks
for and another small cellblock were being built just inside the new wall.

The North Vietnamese were improving Son Tay in other ways.  They had the
prisoners plant two steel pipes to hold poles for a volleyball net-so the
guards could play, not the prisoners.  One day, Air Force Captain Richard C.
Brenneman, a November 1967 shootdown, brashly shimmied up the volleyball
pole, right in the middle of the compound, and took a look outside the
walls.  It was "pretty obvious," a big "no no." A guard in the tower by the
front gate spotted him.  The North Vietnamese were "irritated." They threw
Brenneman "under the tower" - a favorite form of torture at Son Tay.
Brenneman was locked up in a small shack for 30 days, baking by day,
freezing at night, choking in the stench of his own excrement.  The guards
hauled him out only long enough to beat him when he refused to admit that he
had climbed the pole on anything but a whim. Brenneman took it well, but
finally got an order from the camp's SRO to write an apology to the North
Vietnamese before they broke him and extracted something critical, like the
real purpose of his trip up the pole, or communication methods and codes.
Brenneman wrote the note.  It said something harmless like "I'm sorry I was
a bad boy," and the camp commander ordered him to be released.