PITCHFORD, JOHN JOSEPH JR.
Name: John Joseph Pitchford Jr. Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O3 Unit: Date of Birth: May 29, 1927 Home City of Record: Natchez MS Date of Loss: 20 December 1965 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 212500 North 1070500 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F100F #1231 Missions: 3 Other Personnel in Incident: Robert Trier, remains returned 1982 Refno: 0216
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. Update 2010.
REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY DRV INJURED
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).
JOHN J. PITCHFORD JR. Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force Shot Down: December 20, 1965 Released: February 12, 1973
I enlisted in the Army Air Corps 23 August 1944 and served as an airplane and engine mechanic until discharged in December 1946. I attended Louisiana State University from 1949 to 1952. I graduated with a BS degree in Forestry and received an ROTC commission. I entered Pilot training at Bartow AFB, Florida in August 1952 and received my wings in September 1953 at James Connally AFB, Waco, Texas. I attended the Air Force Gunnery School at Williams AFB and Luke AFB, Arizona from September 1953 to January 1954. The next two years were spent in Japan as a member of the 8th Fighter Bomber Squadron, Misawa, Japan. I returned to Luke AFB in March 1956 and while there I instructed a course in Instruments and Gunnery until November 1962. I was assigned to Osan, Korea from January 1963 to February 1964.1 then returned to Cannon AFB, New Mexico and was assigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing. I attended the Fighter Weapons School from June to September 1965. Upon returning to Cannon, I volunteered for the Wild Weasel program and proceeded to Eglin AFB for a three week training program before going to Korat AB, Thailand.
I was shot down on 20 December 1965 while on my third mission. I suffered a dislocated right shoulder on ejection as well as gunshot wounds in my upper right arm during capture.
My future plans depend on what corrective surgery can do for me. I am married and have four children. My wife, who has been a source of strength for me, and I, with the two youngest children live in Laguna Niguel, California. My native home is Natchez, Mississippi where my mother still resides.
The one thing I would like to convey to the American people is that no matter what happens in one's lifetime, one must never lose faith in the United States of America. Ours is a great country indeed. We must continue to rededicate ourselves to the principles that have made it great. I, as a POW, was sustained by my faith in God, country and by the hardships (much worse than my own) that were endured by many of my fellow POWs.
================ The Honorable John Pitchford retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He passed away 12/02/2009.
John "Jack" Pitchford, Natchez
1927 - 2009
Jack Pitchford; was POW at 'Hanoi Hilton' December 4, 2009
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Retired Air Force Col. Jack Pitchford, a fighter pilot from Mississippi who survived seven years in the notorious Vietnamese prison camp known as the "Hanoi Hilton," has died. He was 82.
The Natchez, Miss., native died Wednesday after battling a brain tumor, said his brother, 64-year-old Jim Pitchford of Baton Rouge, La......
Community gathers to remember war hero
Published Tuesday, December 8, 2009
NATCHEZ — No one came to St. Mary Basilica to say goodbye to local war hero Col. John Joseph “Jack” Pitchford Monday.
They came to say “Godspeed Jack.” .....
Natchez knew a great hero
Published Friday, December 4, 2009
Every community has its heroes, but not every hero is the same. Natchez just lost one of its heroes and one of America’s heroes, too.
The seven years Col. Jack Pitchford spent in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp were years none of us can even imagine. .....