CLARK, JOHN WALTER


Pre-capture photo


2014

Name: John Walter Clark
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force
Unit: 11th TRS
Date of Birth: 01 January 1940
Home City of Record: Columbia MO
Date of Loss: 12 March 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205700 North  1045700 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Missions: 80+
Other Personnel in Incident: Edward Goodrich, Missing

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.  2019

REMARKS: 730218 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).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

JOHN W. CLARK
Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: March 12, 1967
Released:  February 18, 1973

I was born on 1 January 1940 in Columbia, Missouri and lived there for
twenty-two years. I hare two sisters one older and one younger, named
Katherine and Vevona respectively. I was a graduate of Hickman High School
in Columbia where I played football and ran track. My  father is a Professor
in the Agricultural Extension Department of the University of Missouri and
my mother is on the Stephens College faculty.

As a young man I enjoyed cars and water skiing when I could, and flying
later in college. During those summers I spent many days working on my dad's
farm in North Missouri and that provided many thoughts during my stay with
the communists.

I graduated from High School in 1957, entered UMC College of Engineering and
pledged Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. In February 1962 I was married
and I entered the Air Force shortly after graduation in June of that  year.
My first tour of duty was at Reese AFB, Texas where I attended pilot
training and flew the T-33 and T-37 During this year my daughter, Renee, was
born.  After graduation I was assigned to the Air Evacuation Squadron at
McGuire AFB, New Jersey and flew the C- I 31. In February of 1963 I entered
the RF-4C Combat Crew Training School at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, and upon
completion I  went to Alconbury AB, England with my family to join the 1st
Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. It was from there that I was sent to
Udorn, Thailand in  September of 1966. My family returned to Columbia,
Missouri.

I had flown more than sixty missions over North Vietnam when I was downed by
AAA on 12 March 1967 in western Hoa Binh Province in North Vietnam. I was
captured almost immediately by swarms of militia. I remained in North
Vietnam for almost six years during which time I contracted malaria. I was
released in February 1973 and met my son, Keith, for the first time at Scott
AFB, Illinois where I was being treated for malaria. It is now cured but a
period of time is required for the body to rebuild itself.

During my visit to North Vietnam I fell back on three faiths. Faith in God,
country and family. I developed a rewarding and strengthened faith in God
and I thank God for being American. For, regardless of what "they" said, or
how hopeless the situation might have seemed at times, I knew I was never
forgotten or abandoned. However, I still find it hard to comprehend the
national emotion on the POW issue. I never imagined it to be as I found it
when I returned. Fantastic!!

Our communications with each other and faith in each other along with our
great sense of national pride, made it easy to remain united against the Red
wedge that tried to split us. And "they" never understood.

For the future I plan to remain in the Air Force and attend the University
of Missouri at Columbia for a Master's Degree in Business Administration.

I have come to appreciate my freedom as an American so much more and will no
longer take for granted the great affluence of our society. I pray that
others will not have to suffer to really appreciate what it means to be an
American.

==========================

John Clark retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his
wife Anne reside in Missouri.

===========================

https://cofovietnamtour2014.wordpress.com/    

“Gooooooooooodbye Vietnam”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XihEqoPG9x0   -  Missouri Heroes - John Clark

C of O Students Travel with Veterans to Vietnam

Press Release

College of the Ozarks sent 17 students to Vietnam, paired with six Veterans, from Dec. 9-22, 2018, traveling as part of the Patriotic Education Travel Program.

The trip was under the direction of Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities. This was the College’s fourth time to Vietnam, but its 23rd Patriotic Education Travel Program excursion altogether, with trips representing World War II, the Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

During this trip, students and Veterans visited various sites of the Vietnam War, including Củ Chi Tunnels, Hỏa Lň Prison (Hanoi), the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Hải Vân Pass, My Lai Memorial Site, Chu Lai, Monkey Mountain, and numerous military and cultural museums and sites.

A doorknob on the inside

Two of the Veterans who traveled with the students, Col. John Clark and Col. Tom Moe, were prisoners of war in Hỏa Lň Prison, given the name “Hanoi Hilton” by the American soldiers. During their time at the Hanoi Hilton, Moe and Clark were cellmates.

Including his stay in the Hanoi Hilton, Moe spent over five years in captivity – a total of 1,881 days.

“I’m ready to go back,” Moe said before entering the prison again. “I’m ready to go in there and not be blindfolded, handcuffed, or shackled.”

While touring the museum in Hanoi, Moe spotted himself in a picture that was featured in an exhibit capturing the day that the American POWs were released. The late senator John McCain was also featured in the picture.

“It has been a blessing to travel with Col. Tom Moe and hear his stories,” said senior Sara Pitts. “One thing we will remember from Moe is his optimism: ‘Every day that I wake up with a door handle on the inside is a good day.’”

Clark spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war, including four years at the Hanoi Hilton.

“As we toured the prison, Clark explained how the prisoners persevered through the atrocities of their daily lives,” said sophomore Kyle Stevens. “The prisoners developed relationships that helped them to endure the physical and mental hardships of captivity. This sense of unity served as a source of energy and stamina that gave them strength — a brotherhood that continues today.”

Each student wrote a blog on the day dedicated to their Veteran, which was planned around the areas the Veteran served in. Read highlights from the trip in the blog: https://2018vietnam.wordpress.com/

Student and Veteran pairings

  • Veteran Tom Moe, paired with senior Lily Woolsey from Lebanon, Missouri; senior Sara Pitts from from Grovespring, Missouri;  and junior Rebekah Eklund from Topeka, Kansas
  • Veteran John Clark, paired with senior Kaylee Thieme from Chillicothe, Missouri; senior Courtney Hendrix from Owensville, Missouri; and sophomore Kyle Stevens from Minneola, Kansas
  • Veteran Gary Littrell, paired with sophomore Michael McGinnis from Nixa, Missouri; senior Miles Mrowiec from Spring Grove, Illinois; and sophomore Emma Bachali from Centennial, Colorado
  • Veteran Gary Wood, paired with senior Alex Weathermon from Marionville, Missouri; junior Annie Boyd from Huntsville, Arkansas; and senior Allison Steuck from Rich Hill, Missouri
  • Veteran Robert Smith, paired with seniors Jedidiah Friedman from Springfield, Missouri, and Braden Farris from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Veteran Don Browning, paired with seniors Cody Neal from Gainesville, Missouri; Christina Malzner from Russellville, Missouri; and Jason Good from Sparta, Missouri

Sponsors 

  • Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities
  • Dr. David Dalton, professor of history
  • Chassidy Brittain, patriotic activities administrative assistant
  • Col. James Schreffler, assistant professor of military science
  • Lori Vanderpool, clinic administrator and patriotic travel nurse

MORE INFO  http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=275