Name: John Heber Nasmyth, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: San Gabriel CA
Date of Loss: 04 September 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213516N 1054229E (WJ733872)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C

Other Personnel in Incident: Raymond P. Salzarulo, Jr. (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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.


SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art
electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing
capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest"
planes around.

A Phantom flight crew comprised of 1LT John H. Nasmyth, Jr., pilot, and 1LT
Raymond P. Salzarulo, Jr., Bombardier/Navigator, was dispatched on a mission
over North Vietnam on September 4, 1966. As the aircraft was over Bac Thai
Province, about 10 miles southwest of the city of Thai Nguyen, it was shot

1LT Nasmyth was captured by the Vietnamese and spent the next six and a half
years as a "guest" in prison systems in and around Hanoi. He was released in
February 1973 in Operation Homecoming.

The Vietnamese told Nasmyth that his backseater was dead, and his body had
been in the crashed aircraft. Yet, since September 1966, the Vietnamese have
denied any knowledge of the fate of Ray Salzarulo.

Since the war ended, over 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.

Raymond Paul Salzarulo, Jr. graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964.
He was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was listed Missing
in Action. His remains were returned by the Vietnamese to U.S. control on
September 13, 1990.

John H. Nasmyth, Jr. was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he
was a Prisoner of War.

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).

Major - United States Air Force
Shot Down: September 4, 1966
Released: February 18, 1973

Hanoi Release John Nasmyth is the title of a book which Major Nasmyth is
writing. It is also the message on the sign which his parents displayed in
their yard for several years while he was a prisoner. Nasmyth chopped down the
sign when he returned home. He had been imprisoned for 6 1/2 years, after being
hit by a surface to air missile.

His first eight days in captivity he spent in a room called the knobby room, a
kind of torture room. He received no medical treatment for his wounds. In
fact, the bandages which some civilians had given him were taken off so his
wound could fester. The tortures, which he and 95% of the other prisoners
underwent, were in the forms of solitary confinement, leg irons, and bindings
with nylon straps which stretched the tendons and numbed the limbs.  These
tortures were not only severe, they were long; many spent months and months in
leg irons and years in solitary confinement.

Time was the biggest enemy. To help fill the hours one of the forms of
entertainment was telling movies. Some men were so good at describing films
they had seen that we would listen to their re-runs! Old movies that would
have lasted for three hours might be expanded to five as they were told in
such detail.  Men did the same with books they had read. Hours were spent
making up dictionaries and teaching each other courses. I taught a class in
psychology which I had studied in school. At the six o'clock beep - the  city
of Hanoi sounds a horn at 6 a.m. - guys  would meet down in the corner of the
room for a Spanish class. Others would meet in another corner for a biology
class. The floor was like black cement and we would use it for a blackboard.
Broken pieces of red tile from the roof made good chalk. Ink could be made
from a number of things, ground up cigaret ashes for one thing. Some would
take toilet paper and make dictionaries - French,  Spanish, Russian. Then they
would pass them around. After some years there would be guys teaching French
who had never taken French in their lives, like me. I was teaching Spanish the
last year.  We learned it from the others.

My only plan for the future is to continue working with my family in seeking
information from the North Vietnamese about the 1300 Americans who are still
listed as missing in action.

John "Spike" Nasmyth retired from the United States Air Force as a Major. He
resides in California.



Way to go, Spike!!


As an Air Force F-4C combat pilot, he was decorated with the Silver Star for his heroic actions during incarceration. He is the author of several books ...


A prisoner of war who survived more than a half dozen years in such ... were recovered in the 1990s by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.


More info