SAWHILL, ROBERT RALSTON
RIP - June 26, 2009
Name: Robert Ralston Sawhill
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force
Unit: 555th TFS
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Carnegie PA
Date of Loss: 23 August 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210500 North 1055500 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Gerald Gerndt, returnee
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.
REMARKS: 730314 RELEASED BY DRV
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
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
ROBERT R. SAWHILL
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: August 23, 1967
Released: March 14, 1973
I was commissioned in the Air Force through the ROTC program in the summer
of 1952 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh. Most of my
career was spent in the Air Defense Command. After a tour in Japan I went to
Tactical Air Command in 1965. While at TAC I was stationed at Eglin AFB,
Florida where I spent two years. in May 1967 I went to Southeast Asia.
I was shot down near Hanoi on 23 August 1967. I spent the next five and a
half years in camps in and around Hanoi. Like most of the returning POWs, I
believe that my faith in God was the one driving motive that kept me, and I
am sure, a lot of us; going. I believe that the great group of guys that we
had together in Hanoi sustained each other and themselves in a manner which
permitted us to come out of Hanoi in as good shape as we were or are.
I plan to continue my career in the Air Force. I have been assigned to ICAF
(Industrial College of the Armed Forces) and hope to get back into the
cockpit of an F4 as well as the F-15. But right now I just want to get used
to being a human being again, visit my family, renew some old acquaintances
and see an awful lot of people who I met in Hanoi. I plan to travel quite a
bit. I'm trying to keep out of the limelight as much as possible. There seem
to be enough spokesmen for what went on there in the prison system and I
would just as soon let them handle all the gory details.
Robert Sawhill retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and
his wife Roni resided in South Carolina until his death.
SAWHILL, ROBERT R. JR --- of Jacksonville, FL passed away Friday, June 26
at age 78. Robert was a retired Air Force Colonel who served in the
Vietnam War and was a Prisoner of War for a period of five and a half years.
He received the Purple Heart and numerous other awards including the Silver
Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Bronze Star. He also received numerous
commendations for service and leadership. He was graduate of the
University of Pittsburgh and received his commission into the U. S. Air Force
upon completion of the ROTC program. Robert enjoyed playing golf and traveling
to visit friends and family. He is survived by his wife Ronda and sister Phyllis
(PA), and John D. Sawhill (Port Orange, FL). In addition to his immediate
family, he was the loving uncle to Karen L. Walker, Frank J. Janocha, Jr.,
Priscilla A. Hagan, Stephen R. Janocha, and Amy J. Janocha. Also Christopher
S. Sawhill, Dr. Kathryn A. Sawhill, David L. Sawhill, Jr., James K. Sawhill
(deceased), Alexander R. Sawhill (deceased) and Alison L. Sawhill.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the McGraw Community Hospice at 4266
Sunbeam Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32257 or community hospice.com would be
Memorial Services will be held in three cities:
Jacksonville, FL date and details to be finalized on Monday, June 29 but
will likely be on July 1.
Pittsburgh, PA July 25 at 10:30 am at the Church of the Nativity,
in Crafton, PA, reception to follow at Chartiers Country Club.
Washington, DC September 23 at 3:00 pm (subject to change depending on
our fly-over request at Arlington National Cemetery.)
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