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[Spacer] [Navy Seal - 4.4K] Gareth Laverne Anderson
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[Liberty - 1.7K]  Returnee   [Liberty - 1.7K]

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  • Name: Gareth Laverne Anderson
  • Rank/Branch: O2/United States Navy
  • Unit: VF 114
  • Date of Birth: 
  • Home City of Record: Falmouth MA
  • Date of Loss: 19 May 1967
  • Country of Loss: North Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 204800 North 1054400 East
  • Status (in 1973): Returnee
  • Category: 
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  F4B
  • Other Personnel in Incident: Charles Plumb, returnee
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    Plumb and Anderson were shot down the day following on the birthday of Ho Chi Minh,
    May 19, 1967, just south of Hanoi. Joseph Plumb was the pilot, the radar intercept officer
    was Gary Anderson.  Both were captured immediately.

    Plumb recalls the incident: The F4B Phatom lay crumpled in a smouldering wreckage near
    the small village.  The peasants stripped me of all my flight gear, blindfolded me,and put
    me into a pen with a buffalo bull where I got the opportunity for the first, and hopefully
    the last time in my life, to play matador.  But having no red cape, I was unable to attract a
    great deal of attention from the fairly docile bull.  So it was necessary for the Vietnamese
    to run around to the aft side of this animal and harass him into making sweeps upon my
    innocent body with his horns.  I received no permanent injury.  And I look back upon it
    with more humor than terror.

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    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

    Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy
    Shot Down: May 19, 1967
    Released: March 4, 1973

    I have been asked many times in many states why we as POW's are expressing
    patriotism, faith in God and country.  Were we not coached in our comments to the
    public in this regard?

    No, of course not.  We were, however, imbued with a greater appreciation of our
    country and its people.  Unfortunately it had to take deprivation and hardship, to grasp,
    to accept the fact that we took so many things in our country, if not our country itself,
    for granted.  Our expressed patriotism was reflected in our reliance, our admiration in
    one another rather than suspicion.

    A friend reflects far better what I wish to convey:

    "To those who honor me by public conduct, speaking well of me, cherishing my coveted
    sacredness and heritage and above all, pride in me, I award the most valuable award, which
    requires allegiance, fidelity, courtesy, compassion, humanity and more than that, a deep
    feeling inside of love for my presence--a red and white standard, with a blue square, filled
    with crystal-clear white stars, representing the country which adopted me as its guardian
    and protector.  For you see, I am the American Flag. My award--the American Flag
    Award, is not for the timid."

    So, it is with honor and pride that we return to our country.  The great nation we have
    is only because of its people, their values, and their patriotism.

    Gary Anderson is deceased.

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