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[Spacer] [Navy Seal - 4.4K] Edwin Arthur Shuman III
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  • Name: Edwin Arthur Shuman III
  • Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
  • Unit: Attack Squadron 35, USS Enterprise (CVA 65)
  • Home City of Record: Marblehead MA
  • Date of Loss: 17 March 1968
  • Country of Loss: North Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 212000N 1055000E (WJ864590)
  • Status (in 1973): Returnee
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
  • Other Personnel in Incident: Dale W. Doss (Released POW)
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    SYNOPSIS: When nuclear powered USS Enterprise arrived on Yankee Station on December 2, 1965, she was the largest warship ever built.  She brought with her not only an imposing physical presence, but also an impressive component of warplanes and the newest technology.  By the end of her first week of combat operations, the Enterprise had set a record of 165 combat sorties in a single day, surpassing the Kitty Hawk's 131.  By the end of her first combat cruise, her air wing had flown over 13,000 combat sorties.  The record had not been achieved without cost.

    When the Enterprise was again on station in the spring of 1968, two of its pilots were LCDR Edwin A.  Shuman III and LCDR Dale W.  Doss, an A6 "Intruder" team.  The Intruder pilots were known to have, in the words of Vice Admiral William F.  Bringle, Commander Seventh Fleet, "an abundance of talent, courage and aggressive leadership", and were sent on some of the most difficult missions of the war.

    On March 17, 1968, Shuman was the pilot and Doss his Bombardier/Navigator (BN)
    when they launched in their A6A Intruder on a night, low-level strike into North Vietnam. A radio transmission was heard indicating that they were proceeding to execute their assigned mission.  They had requested that other aircraft keep radio transmission to a minimum.  At this time they should have been over land.

    Shortly, another aircraft assigned to support the mission in an anti-missile role attempted to establish radio contact since no "bombs away" call was heard, and receiving no answer, the aircraft supporting the mission proceeded to the pre-briefed lost- communications rendezvous point.  Contact with Doss and Shuman was never regained.

    Radio Hanoi announced the capture of LCDRs Shuman and Doss on the following day.
    Both men were placed in a Prisoner of War status.  The two were held in the Hanoi prisoner of war system for the next five years.  They were both released, along with
    589 other Americans, in the spring of 1973 in Operation Homecoming.

    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.

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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

    Commander - United States Navy
    Shot Down: March 17, 1968
    Released: March 14, 1973

    I was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 7,1931.  In 1948 I was graduated from the DeVeaux School, and in 1954 from the US Naval Academy.

    After receiving wings in 1955, I served in several different fighter and attack squadrons from then until I was shot down in 1968.  I attended the US Naval Test Pilot School in 1960 and the US Naval Post Graduate School in 1962.

    In late 1967 and early 1968 I was attached to Attack Squadron 35 aboard the Enterprise, flying A6A type airplanes.  On my 18th mission on March 17th, 1968, I was shot down
    just north of Hanoi.  My bombardier-navigator was LCDR Dale Doss from Birmingham, Alabama.  On that fateful night of St.  Patrick's Day we were to be the fourth airplane lost from our squadron in a two-week period and, out of those four we were to be the only survivors.

    At about 3 A.M.  on that day we were making a low level radar bombing attack on a railroad yard just north of Hanoi.  Short of the target we were hit by objects unknown
    and, after a very short parachute ride we were on most unfriendly soil.  Our location was such that there was no hope of rescue and very little chance of evasion due to the high population density and flat topography.

    I was captured by a group of militia men at about 5 A.M.  My right shoulder was broken; otherwise, no other significant injuries were noticed.  At about 6 A.M. I was turned over to the regular army and, along with Dale, was driven to the Hanoi Hilton.  That was the last time I was to see him for the next 17 months.  Interrogations began immediately and after a series of threats I was tortured with ropes for military information.  That started 19 months of what I considered to be the most cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

    I spent 17 months in solitary confinement with very little contact with other Americans. The object of the North Vietnamese was simply, they wanted complete subjugation of mind and body.  The penalty for violating their "regulations" could be unusually severe; for instance, I was caught trying to talk with another prisoner and was beaten for four hours, off and on, with a rubber whip which we called the fan belt.  This was followed by sitting on a stool or kneeling on the floor with my arms strapped behind my back for six days and nights.  After this, I was "allowed" to write a good treatment statement.

    I moved in with Dale in August, 1969 and in October the treatment improved significantly. After that, there followed a long, frustrating wait.  Of course, irons and isollation were still used as punishments but the real, heavy stuff was terminated.

    What sustained me during those years?  I think primarily faith in each other, our country and our way of life, our families and for many, God.  In addition, I learned to detest Communists in general and North Vietnamese Communists in particular, and everything they stood for.  I also have the highest contempt for those liberals who played ball with the Communists and opposed my Commander-in-Chief, thereby giving aid and comfort
    to my captors, and prolonging my stay.

    Future plans include a long vacation with my wife and three children, followed by an assignment in the Norfolk, Virginia area.  The Navy has helped make my transition
    as smooth as possible and I feel that I am well adjusted.  And, as I told the hospital psychiatrist, "I'm no more crazy that I ever was".

    December 1996:
    Edwin Shumann III retired from the United States Navy as a Captain.
    He and his wife Donna reside in Maryland.

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