McCUISTION, MICHAEL K. Name: Michael K. McCuistion Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Takhli Airbase, Thailand Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Lincoln NE Date of Loss: 08 May 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 181100N 1054900E (WF863104) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D Refno: Source: Compiled 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. NETWORK in 1998. Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) REMARKS: 730308 RELSD BY DRV SYNOPSIS: Capt. Michael K. McCuistion was flying a combat mission on May 8, 1967 in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam, about 10 miles southeast of the city of Xom Hoai when his F105D Thunderchief was shot down and he was captured. When Capt. McCuistion was sent to Takhli Airbase in Thailand, his wife was three months pregnant with their second child. After Capt. McCuistion was shot down, it was three years before his wife received word of her husband. In May 1970, she received two six-line letters from him in POW camp. The U.S. Government promptly changed McCuistion's status from Missing in Action to Prisoner of War. It was six more months before she heard from him again. Jerry McCuistion was one of the lucky wives who knew their husbands were alive. Others were not so fortunate. Jerry immediately went to work to help better the treatment for the POWs held in Vietnam. On March 3, 1973, after nearly 6 years in captivity, Capt. McCuistion was released from Hanoi to rejoin his wife and son, and to meet the young daughter whom he did not know. When McCuistion and 590 other Americans were released, military experts expressed their dismay that "hundreds" of Americans expected to be returned were not. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of them. Since Mike McCuistion was released, believing as most POWs did, that when he was released, all living POWs had been released, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans still missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities are convinced that hundreds remain alive. Some speculate that there were a number of prison systems - and that only one "system" was emptied of its prisoners in 1973. As long as reports continue, other wives, mothers and children live in suspense. They are unable to grieve, unable to go on with their lives, until they know the fate of their loved one. Many, like Jerry McCuistion began the fight over 20 years ago, but unlike lucky Jerry, they still fight. It's time we brought our men home.
Michael McCuistion retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel. He and his wife Mari Lu reside in Texas.