RIP  10/03/19

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Name: Robert Byron Fuller
Rank/Branch: O5/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 76, USS BON HOMME RICHARD
Date of Birth: 23 November 1927
Home City of Record: Jacksonville FL
Date of Loss: 14 July 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204000N 1060200E (XH076854)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Missions: 110
Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews, and updated 09 March 1997
by the P.O.W. NETWORK with material provided by Ret. Admiral Robert Fuller,
USN.   2023


SYNOPSIS: The USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA 31) saw early Vietnam war action. A
World War II Essex-class carrier, she was on station participating in combat
action against the Communists as early as August 1964. Her aircraft carried
the first Walleye missiles when they were introduced in 1967. In November
1970, the "Bonnie Dick" completed its sixth combat deployment and was
scheduled for decommissioning by mid-1971.

One of the aircraft that launched from the decks of the BON HOMME RICHARD
was the Douglas Aircraft A4 Skyhawk. The Skyhawk was intended to provide 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.

The Spirits of VA76, assigned to Air Wing 21, reached the coastal waters of
Vietnam in January 1967. As the monsoon season faded, the air war's
intensity rapidly ballooned and sites in North Vietnam that previously had
been off-limits were opened up for U.S. air strikes.

CDR Robert B. Fuller was a Skyhawk pilot and the commanding officer of
Attack Squadron 76 onboard the BON HOMME RICHARD. On July 14, 1967, he
launched in his A4C on a mission near the city of Hun Yen in Hai Hung
Province, North Vietnam. During the mission, as he was just northwest of the
city, Fuller's aircraft was shot down. He ejected from the aircraft and was
captured. During captivity he was subjected to torture by ropes, leg irons
and 25 months in solitary confinement. Fuller spent sixty-eight months in
captivity and was finally released on March 4, 1973 in Operation Homecoming.

Byron Fuller was one of the lucky ones. For hundreds of others, however,
simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of nearly 10,000
reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the certain
knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war were not
released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be prisoners, and
still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers when last seen
alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents, only to
disappear without a trace.

The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.

Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today.  What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?

During the period he was a prisoner of war Robert B. Fuller was promoted to
the rank of Captain.


Robert Fuller retired from the United States Navy as a Rear Admiral in 1982.
He and Mary Anne still reside in Florida. Robert still flys, and enjoys
RVing. He and Mary Ann have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.

Florida Times Union
Monday, August 9, 1999

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Ex-POW missing no more
Bracelet wearer finds him just across town

By P. Douglas Filaroski
Times-Union staff writer

As a young woman, Barbara Fiebelkorn thought often about the man whose
name was engraved on a POW bracelet she wore. She imagined possible
horrors, but mostly held out hope.....

  November 14, 2013

40-year search for 'her' soldier finally over Katy Times

The year was 1971 when 13-year-old Alise Gabriles of Houston sent off for her POW-MIA bracelet. For
those too young to remember those days, the bracelets 
  October 17, 2019  

He was awarded the Navy Cross, the military's second-highest decoration for valor, for his "extraordinary heroism" as a prisoner of war. He also ...


Navy pilot Byron Fuller spent almost six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, where his battered body was tortured and starved, where he ...


The Memorial Service for Byron Fuller was held at the Protestant Chapel on NAS Jacksonville, FL at 1300 on Friday, 11 Oct. 2019. 
Mary Anne was there with her caregiver as were all the immediate plus extended family.

By's son Bob made general remarks on behalf of the family; daughter Peggy told how By used the 23rd Psalm to practice the tap code
and read it while Dick Stratton tapped the words.  Son-in-law Matt Tuohy told how By supported him as skipper of carrier USS Kitty
Hawk and in his Navy career overall.  Granddaughter Maryanne Jolly told of the grandchildren's relationship with her grandfather.

The Navy chaplain focused his remarks on the Freedom Tree planted between the two chapels when By came home in 1973.  It has
now grown to some 40-50 feet tall and spreads nearly that.  He noted that Vacation Bible School children  play in the tree's  shade
where a plaque tells By's story so his legacy lives on.

There was a large crowd in attendance to witness the  service including  NamPoWs Richard and Alice Stratton, Dale and Patty Raebel,
Pete and Jane Schoeffel, Charles and Marcia Zuhoski,  Wayne and Barbara Waddell, Denver Key, Hal Kushner, and J.B. Souder 
plus Jane Crumpler.  [I apologize if I missed anyone.]

GB, Wayne Waddell


Mary Anne Fuller rendezvoused with By. R, RAS

Mary Anne Fuller Obituary


December 13, 2022

Fuller's unwavering gallantry and loyal devotion to duty inspired other POWs to also persist in the face of

their captors' efforts to demoralize and ...

June 11, 2023

For “Extraordinary Heroism as a Prisoner of War” he was awarded the Navy Cross, our nation's second highest honor. His other awards for valor ...

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