STACKHOUSE, CHARLES DAVID Name: Charles David Stackhouse Rank/Branch: United States Navy/O3 Unit: VA 76 Date of Birth: 13 March 1940 Sheboygan WI Home City of Record: Norwood OH Date of Loss: 25 April 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 204800 North 1064000 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C #147799 Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Refno: 0652 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: 730304 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 spelling errors). CHARLES D. STACKHOUSE Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy Shot Down: April 25, 1967 Released: March 4, 1973 On Wednesday (not Friday) the thirteenth of March 1940 I was born to my parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Keith Stackhouse, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as the number two son. William Keith, number one, was some eighteen months my senior. About one and a half years later, as I recall, we moved to Norwood, Ohio, a city near Cincinnati, where I stayed until I went to the Naval Academy on 1 July 1957. World War II started shortly after our arrival so Dad joined the Merchant Marine and Mom started working in a lathe factory, so Bill and I "decided" to go to nursery school. Three different grade schools later I went on to Norwood High School. Here my sports coach became my father, so to speak, since mine had passed away in 1950. The four years brought me a few athletic and academic awards and graduation. At the Academy I soon discovered that I was in the big league both sports-wise and smart-wise. It was always a challenge in everything you did - really great. One highlight was the time I returned a kickoff against Notre Dame. Thirteen people tackled me, eleven players and two referees. At least it seemed that way. We were playing at South Bend. In 1961 I was graduated and went on to flight training, then to USS Enterprise. A few cruises later, including a world cruise and a Vietnam cruise on that ship, our squadron, VA-76, was assigned to the Bon Homme Richard. I was flying an A4C on 25 April 1967, I had dropped my bombs, and was in the process of shooting a Mig 17 on my wingman's tail while another Mig was shooting at me. The second time he hit me I started rolling uncontrollably. Since I was already on fire from the first hit from his cannons, I elected to "visit" North Vietnam for a while. As I was arriving by parachute in a rice paddy south of Haiphong, a thought struck me that it was going to be a bad day. Indeed that day, and those that followed, proved to be rather unpleasant. Only the spirit and humor of my compatriots and our faith in God and country sustained me. While there, however, two ideas were confirmed. First, a faith in God and a belief in a life hereafter. Since we are only blessed with five senses, I had difficulty in believing in a God before I was shot down. Later after being deprived of so much, I was able to see more clearly what I really did have (the forest and the trees adage). Those same five senses now acting on little, were able to give stimulus to another sense - a real belief in and friendship with God. When I would observe the delicate beauty of a flower, feel the force of a raging storm, see the sparkling heavens on - a clear night or feel the inner warmth of being given and giving something, if only consideration and respect, then I knew - there really is a God. It is very comforting. Second, Communism is not the way to go. The blank stares of those people, their ignorance of reason and their inability to make a decision, are manifestations of people without freedom of thought. Propaganda and governmental control have deprived those poor people of the opportunity to live life with a free mind. Being able to see so clearly what were the evils of such a form of government has made me feel proud to have done something to prevent its growth.
Charles Stackhouse retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He and his wife Wilma reside in Texas.