Edwin Arthur Shuman III
|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)
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.
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
|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
EDWIN A. SHUMAN III
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
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
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
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