BRUNHAVER, RICHARD MARVIN
|Name: Richard Marvin Brunhaver
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Reserves, pilot
Unit: Attack Squadron 22, USS MIDWAY (CVA 41)
Date of Birth: 16 February 1940 (Wapto WA)
Home City of Record: Yakima WA
Date of Loss: 24 August 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 191500N 1054300E (WG753284)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
REMARKS: 730212 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: The USS MIDWAY was one of three "large" aircraft carriers built
just after World War II. She was in Vietnam waters in February 1961,
patrolling the beat in the South China Sea while turbulence ashore continued
in Vietnam from French involvement, and in Laos. Back to Vietnam by 1965, F4
aircraft from Fighter Squadron 21 onboard the MIDWAY scored the first MiG
kills of the war. As it happens, fighters from the MIDWAY also shot down the
last MiGs of the Vietnam war in January 1973. The MIDWAY was recalled to
Vietnam to cover Operation Eagle Pull -- the evacuation of Saigon in 1975.
One of the aircraft that launched from the decks of the USS MIDWAY was the
A4 Skyhawk. Douglas Aircraft had created the A4 Skyhawk with the intent of
providing the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack
and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.
LTJG Richard M. Brunhaver was an A4C Skyhawk pilot assigned to Attack
Squadron 22 onboard the USS MIDWAY. At 4:30 p.m. on August 24, 1965, he
launched in his Skyhawk as a member of a three-plane formation for an armed
road reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. (In Vietnam, "armed
reconnaissance" meant look for targets of opportunity and destroy them.)
At 5:45 p.m. the flight began a normal low-level bombing attack against a
bridge. Upon recovery from their bombing run, LTJG Brunhaver's aircraft was
observed to be on fire and he was advised to eject. The flight leader
observed a parachute fully deployed as the aircraft commenced to break up.
The parachute landed in an area of heavy brush and shortly afterward an
emergency radio beeper was heard. Due to low fuel states, the two planes in
his formation had to return to the carrier, but not before plotting the
location of the crash site and calling for helicopter search and rescue. The
search was called off because of darkness and started up again the next
morning with negative results.
LTJG Brunhaver was placed in a Missing in Action status. In July 1966,
information was acquired from a source which established the Brunhaver was a
prisoner in a North Vietnamese POW camp. His status was changed to Captured.
On February 12, 1973, Brunhaver was released from Hanoi along with 590 other
Americans. He had been a POW for 7 1/2 years. During his years of captivity,
Brunhaver was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned
American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.
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
RICHARD M. BRUNHAVER
Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy
Shot Down: August 24, 1965
Released: February 12, 1973
(PICTURE) LCDR Richard M "Skip" Brunhaver the first Navy POW from
Washington State to be processed at Bremerton Naval Hospital, cuts his
birthday cake a day late as his mother Mrs. Walter C. Brulotte looks on. The
belated birthday party was held in LCDR Brunhaver's room at the Bremerton
Naval Hospital following his arrival there Saturday. LCDR Brunhaver's
father, George Brunhaver of Everson, Washington, older brother Lew, 34, and
two sisters, Mrs.Tessa Butler, 27, and Mrs. Dora Dahl, 26, were also on hand
for the Party.
LCDR Brunhaver was only 25 when his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over North
Vietnam August 24, 1965. With the celebration of this birthday he turned 33
(and one day ).
Richard Brunhaver resides in Washington State.
"Today (12/15/15) I received the very sad news that NAMPOW Skip Brunhaver's
wife Jan passed away on the 13th.
The Jan Brunhaver Memorial Mass will be held at St. Louise Catholic Church
in Bellevue, Washington on Friday, December 18th at 10:30 A.M.; funeral at
1400. As far as I can determine it's a no flowers ceremony.
St. Louise Catholic Church is located at:
156th Ave SE,
Bellevue, WA 98007
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