Gareth Laverne Anderson
|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.
|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
GARETH L. "GARY" ANDERSON
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.