STUART, JOHN FRANKLIN
Name: John Franklin Stuart Rank/Branch: Lt.Colonel/United States Air Force Date of Birth: 26 July 1933 Unit: 307th Strat Wing, Utopea AB Thailand Home City of Record: Indianapolis IN Loss Date: 20 December 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210500N 1055900E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: B52 Refno: 1955
Source: Compiled 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. NETWORK in 2002.
Other Personnel In Incident: William U. Acuri; Terry M. Geloneck; Paul L. Granger; Thomas J. Klomann (all returned POWs from B52, coordinates 210500N 1055900E); Roy Madden Jr.; Michael R. Martini (returned POWs from B52, coordinates 211000N 1054500E); Craig A. Paul; Warren R. Spencer (remains returned from B52, coordinates 210459N 1053958E); Arthur McLaughlin; Irwin S. Lerner; Randolph Perry (all missing from B52, coordinates 210500N 1055900E)
Remarks: POSS KIA - TWO ON CREW REL PWS
SYNOPSIS: John F. Stuart was aboard a B52 shot down by a Surface to Air (SAM) missile over Hanoi on December 20, 1972. His B52 was one of many involved in the successful "Christmas Bombings" of Hanoi that finally convinced the Vietnamese to sit at the peace table.
There were a total of 12 men missing in close proximity to each other from B52 aircraft on December 20. It is unclear which men were together on any given plane, although it seems clear that the four missing were on the same plane as Madden and Martini, as Defense Department notes that two men were released from Lerner and Perry's plane. The total number listed exceeds a normal B52 crew capacity, which is six. Stuart was in a flight of three B52s over Hanoi that day. The fate of all three planes is uncertain.
[2002 update] The number three aircraft in the flight, a B52D, contained the following crew members: Major John F. Stewart, pilot; Major Randolph A. Perry, R/Nav; Capt. Thomas J. Klomann, Nav; Capt. Irwin S. Lerner, EWO; 1Lt. Paul L. Granger, Co-Pilot; and Chief Master Sgt. Arthur V. McLaughlin, Jr., Gunner.
One thing that amazed analysts about the B52 bombers that were shot down over Hanoi during this period was the high survival rate of the crewmembers. Many more were returned as POWs than was expected. The B52s that were shot down were downed in extremely hostile territory with little or no chance of rescue.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that all the prisoners were returned in 1973 at the end of the war. Since 1975, thousands of reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans still alive in captivity. Experts in the U.S. Government have stated they believe they are being held. The question then, is no longer whether or not they are alive, but who are they, and how can we bring them home? And is one of them John F. Stuart?