ZUHOSKI, CHARLES PETER Name: Charles Peter Zuhoski Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Unit: VF 111 Date of Birth: New York, NY Home City of Record: Jamesport NY Date of Loss: 31 July 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 205700N 1060400E (XJ108167) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8C Missions: 14 Other Personnel in Incident: none Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 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. REMARKS: 730314 RELSD BY DRV SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam. The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for photo reconnaissance. The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. Lt. Charles P. Zuhoski was the pilot of an F8C sent on a combat mission over North Vietnam on July 31, 1967. His flight route took him to Hai Hung Province, North Vietnam, where his aircraft was shot down about 20 miles southeast of Hanoi. Zuhoski was captured by the North Vietnamese. For the next 6 years, Zuhoski was held in various prisoner of war camps, including the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" complex in Hanoi. They were released in the general prisoner release in 1973. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It's time we brought our men home. 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 CHARLES P. ZUHOSKI Lieutenant - United States Navy Shot Down: July 31, 1967 Released: March 14, 1973 I was born in New York City, New York. My parents are Dr. and Mrs. Peter B. Zuhoski. I grew up in Jamesport, New York and attended the Riverhead High School as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where I received a BS degree in Mathematics. I entered the service 14 October 1964 and was commissioned on 5 March 1965 at OCS, Newport, Rhode Island. I received orders to Flight Training at Pensacola, Meridian, Pensacola again, and finally Kingsville, Texas. I received my wings of gold on 23 August 1966. I was then sent from Flight Training to F-8 Rag. VF-124 in San Diego, California. While there I met Patricia Laura Highly and we were married 3 June 1967. I reported aboard VF-111 in March of 1967 and deployed aboard USS Oriskany in mid-June 1967. After two weeks on line I was shot down by a SAM near Hanoi on 31 July 1967. The initial processing of me was speedy. l had been shot down and captured about 8:15 and I guess I was in "New Guy Village" and in the ropes by 10:30 on the 31st. During my internment I have been in the following prisons: the Annex, the Zoo, Halo, back to the Zoo with Ed Estes, back to Halo, then to the Mountains at Dogpatch. I was a POW five years and seven months. I consider myself lucky for I was not singled out during hard times as many of the POWs were. I would like to state that I couldn't be more proud than to have been associated with the 4th Allied POW Wing. Under the circumstances I consider the whole group upheld the finest tradition of the U. S. Armed Forces. These traditions were a great inspiration to me during those difficult years. Remember the Vietnamese do not select who they capture. It was all a matter of chance. One can therefore conclude that the 4th Allied POW Wing reflects the quality of men in the Armed Services. This quality is characterized by faith in God and Country and a pride in their United States Citizenship. Tentatively, my future plans are to remain in the Service, return to Fighters, and continue my education.
Charles Zuhoski retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He and his wife Marcia reside in Virginia.