Name: Peter Vanruyter Schoeffel
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Navy
Unit: VA 15
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Alexandria VA
Date of Loss: 04 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205300 North  1064100 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Missions: 125
Other Personnel in Incident: none
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. Updated 2000.
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).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
Commander - United States Navy
Shot Down: October 4, 1967
Released: March 13, 1973
I entered the Naval Academy in 1950 on a Presidential appointment and was
graduated in 1954. My first duty assignment was on board the USS Eaton which
was home ported in Norfolk but which was just entering the Mediterranean
when I joined her. I stayed with the Eaton for two years before going to
flight training in 1956. Having earned my wings, in 1958 I joined Attack
Squadron Sixty Six at Oceana, Virginia, and I made several cruises to the
Caribbean and the Mediterranean before being detached in 1962 to attend the
Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
After I received a degree in Operations Research, I worked in Washington
D.C. for a year, returning to an A-4 Squadron, VA-15, at Cecil Field,
Florida. The A-4 squadron was deployed to Viet Nam in early 1966 and again
in May 1967. I was on a strike near a communist target at Haiphong when I
was shot down by anti-aircraft ground fire on October 4, 1967.
A few hours after my capture I was taken to what I later learned was
"Heartbreak Hotel". Five and a half years and many grey hairs later, I was
returned to freedom.
My five and a half years in communist prisons taught me, as nothing had
before, the value of a governmental system whose powers are limited by
principles that are not directly political. However clear, systematic, and
idealistic the basic concept of benefitting all men by common ownership of
production may seem, the results as applied by communists are unbridled
tyranny. An important thing we should do is not to be simply anti-communist,
but to understand the difficult, turbulent, and illogical processes that
self-government in a free society of diverse but accommodating interests
imposes on us.
Furthermore we must learn better what it is we have in our Constitution.
Especially, I believe, we should try to learn why the Constitution takes its
present form and content. It seems to me that intelligent patriotism must
start with the knowledge of what we have and why we have it. Only then can
we refute the glittering simplifications that lead to tyranny.
Peter Schoeffel retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his
wife Jane reside in Florida.
From - Tue May 09 11:57:33 2000
My father, R.Adm Malcolm Schoeffel (deceased),  was the first CO of the USS
Cabot (CVL-28) in WWII. The ship forged an heroic record and would be more
famous but for her size and the fact that when Ernie Pyle rode her and wrote
of her, he was forced by wartime censorship to refer to her only as "The
Iron Woman." She remains as the last existing escort carrier and is the
closest to her wartime configuration of any existing WWII carrier, still
mounting her 40mm AA guns. At this time a last ditch effort is being made to
save her from the breakers and transform her into a museum/memorial. Please
visit  (NOT  .com)  After you do so I believe
you will want to assist in some way. Money and publicity are needed.