Name: Willis Ellis Forby
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force
Unit: 334th TFS
Date of Birth:15 June 1933
Home City of Record: Onaka SD
Date of Loss: 20 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 180600N 1054200E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105

Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK March 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. SYNOPSIS QUOTED from page
28 of Ben Schemmer's "THE RAID." 2020


SYNOPSIS: "There were, of course, many sources of intelligence besides
reconnaissance photographs: enemy propaganda films, news releases and
broadcasts; and the interrogation of defectors and enemy prisoners of war,
which had proved especially valuable when a captured North Vietnamese turned
out to have a brother or cousin or brother-in-law who was a guard in one of
the POW camps.  In one case, a previously unknown prisoner, Air Force
Lieutenant Colonel Willis E. Forby, had been positively identified when a
North Vietnamese soldier taken captive in the south revealed that he had
captured Forby when he was shot down early in the war, September 20,1965.
Sometimes information came from foreign visitors to North Vietnam or members
of American protest movements allowed to visit there.  Other tidbits were
passed along, often purposefully gathered for the United States, by military
attaches and diplomats stationed in Hanoi from friendly and neutral
nations-and occasionally, even from an unfriendly one. Another source was
mail from the POWs themselves, when they were allowed to write those cruelly
short and uninformative letters home.  Only about half the prisoners were
being given that privilege, however."

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).

Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: September 20, 1965
Released: February 12, 1973

I was born  15 June 1933 and raised in Onaka a small town in South Dakota.
After completing high school attended South Dakota State College for 2 years
before joining the Air Force in February 1954. I was married  in August 1958
and have two daughters Michele and Kerry ages 13 and 8.

Seymour Johnson AFB North Carolina and RAF Wethersfield England were the
locations where I enjoyed flying  the F-86H F-100C and D and the F-105B and
D fighter aircraft. After obtaining a Bachelor of General Education degree
at the University of Omaha in 1965 I was reassigned to Seymour Johnson AFB
and in August of 1965 I was assigned to Southeast Asia in the F-105D fighter
bomber. I was shot down 90 September 1965 near Vinh North  Vietnam by
anti-aircraft artillery and captured by the Vietnamese militia. Seven years
and 5 months later I was released in the first group of POWs. I intend to
remain in the Air Force for several years.

I feel that the greatest things that sustained me during  my years of
imprisonment was the faith and knowledge that my country would succeed in
its mission after which I would be permitted  to return. Another important
strength was derived from my faith in God. This Strength contributed greatly
in helping me survive during the more difficult periods of confinement. These
two faiths coupled with good training prior to capture enabled me to keep
mentally and physically healthy during my confinement.


Willis Forby retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He
resides in Illinois.