Jay R. Jensen


 

Preferred Name:

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: July 29, 1931 (May 29, 1998)

Highest Military Grade Held: Lieutenant Colonel

Hometown: Sandy, UT

Biography

Captain Jay R. Jensen distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105 Electronics Warfare Officer near Vinh, North Vietnam on 18 February 1967. On that date, while under intense and accurate fire from unfriendly forces, Captain Jensen demonstrated courage, undaunted determination, and superior skill in pressing home devastating air attacks against hostile positions. Persevering in the face of danger, he relentlessly and effectively aided in neutralizing the hostile forces. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Jensen has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Jay Jensen retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel. He and his wife Vienne lived in both Florida and Utah until his death. From May 20 until May 25, 1998 Jay and his wife joined 280 former POWs in Dallas, TX, for the Silver Anniversary Reunion of their Homecoming. They flew to Hawaii for a vacation directly from Dallas. He suffered a heart attack on the beach and passed away May 29th. He was only 66 years old.
(source: POW Network, Veterans Tributes)

Jay Jensen’s POW Story (1977)
Captured 02-18-1967. Released 02-18-1973.
13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Aircraft: F-105F
Kissinger 20 Special Release Group
(Shot down with David Duart)
“I was born in Sandy, Utah on 29 July 1931 I attended schools there, graduating from Jordan High School in 1949 I worked at a bank in Salt Lake City for a few years and then went on active duty (Korean War) with the Utah Air National Guard in 1951 as an Airman. My first wife, Ruth, and I were married in 1954.
I attended Brigham Young University from 1952 through 1955 graduating with a BS in Accounting. I worked for Ernst and Ernst, an accounting firm, for about six months, before entering the Air Force for pilot training in May 1956. I received my Navigator wings at Harlingen, Texas in May 1958, and then went to Electronic Warfare Officer School in Biloxi, Mississippi. Later I went to Air Force Survival School and then to Yokota, Japan to fly in a RB-66C for one year. From Japan I went to Hill AFB, Utah to fly in B-57’s, and spent almost four years in a very enjoyable assignment close to my home (many TDYs, and attended Squadron Officer School). Our family became very active in the Mormon Church. I was a scoutmaster for several years.
I then had a staff assignment at Hg. 31st Air Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1964-1966. I received orders for Southeast Asia and reported to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to check out in the F-105 “Wild Weasel” program and arrived at Korat AB, Thailand 18 January 1967. I was shot down on my 13th mission on 18 February 1967. We were attacking a SAM site and a SAM missile got us. Exactly six years later, to the day, I was released with Honor.
I was very hurt and disappointed that my wife divorced me while I was a prisoner, but if that is what she wanted and needed, I am glad she was able to do so while I was a prisoner and not waiting until I returned. I was glad to receive the news while I was a prisoner so that I could adjust and make future plans.
I am going to Brigham Young University to obtain a Masters Degree in Business through AFIT, and then teach AFROTC there. I have been fulfilling as many speaking engagements as possible, and have been very impressed with the wonderful reception we POWs have received, as well as the hundreds of letters from bracelet holders and friends I have received and have answered. It really proves to me how grateful and sincere the American people are, and how wonderful America is. The greatest lesson I learned as a POW – to appreciate the many freedoms, blessings, living standards and opportunities we have in “America the Beautiful.” The thing that helped me most while I was a POW was my undying FAITH, faith and testimony in my God, Country, Family, and the People of America. I have written a book about my POW experiences entitled “Six Years in Hell” which should be published soon.
I am, and always will be, resolved that “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God, and my Country,” my family and, yes, to all mankind, for that is the reason we served so proudly in Vietnam – to protect, and preserve the freedom of South Vietnam – and will do so, in the future, for any other freedom loving country that needs us and is willing to defend their freedom.”
(source: Https://www.pownetwork.org/bios/j/j026.htm)

Units Assigned

11/1950 Enlisted Utah Air National Guard
4/1951-10/1952 Active Duty
4/1956-5/1956 Navigator Training, Harlingen AFB, TX
5/1956-3/1959 Electronic Warfare Officer School, Kessler AFB, MS
3/1959-4/1960 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron/67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Yakota, Japan (RB-66C)
4/1960-11/1963 4677th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron, Hill AFB, UT (B-57 Canberra’s)
11/1963-4/1966 31st Air Division, Oklahoma City, OK
4/1966 Nellis AFB, Wild Weasel Training (F-105)
1/1967 until capture on 2/18/1967, spending 2,193 days in captivity
2/18/1973 Released during Operation Homecoming
8/1975 4392nd Civil Engineering Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, CA

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

B-57
RB-66C
F-105 Wild Weasel

Military Education

Squadron Officer School
Electronic Warfare Officer School in Biloxi, MS
Air Force Survival School

Civilian Education

1949 Jordan High School, Sandy, UT
1955 BS/Accounting, Brigham Young University
1979 MS/Business

Biography

Biography

Captain Jay R. Jensen distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105 Electronics Warfare Officer near Vinh, North Vietnam on 18 February 1967. On that date, while under intense and accurate fire from unfriendly forces, Captain Jensen demonstrated courage, undaunted determination, and superior skill in pressing home devastating air attacks against hostile positions. Persevering in the face of danger, he relentlessly and effectively aided in neutralizing the hostile forces. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Jensen has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Jay Jensen retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel. He and his wife Vienne lived in both Florida and Utah until his death. From May 20 until May 25, 1998 Jay and his wife joined 280 former POWs in Dallas, TX, for the Silver Anniversary Reunion of their Homecoming. They flew to Hawaii for a vacation directly from Dallas. He suffered a heart attack on the beach and passed away May 29th. He was only 66 years old.
(source: POW Network, Veterans Tributes)

POW/Shot Down

Jay Jensen’s POW Story (1977)
Captured 02-18-1967. Released 02-18-1973.
13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Aircraft: F-105F
Kissinger 20 Special Release Group
(Shot down with David Duart)
“I was born in Sandy, Utah on 29 July 1931 I attended schools there, graduating from Jordan High School in 1949 I worked at a bank in Salt Lake City for a few years and then went on active duty (Korean War) with the Utah Air National Guard in 1951 as an Airman. My first wife, Ruth, and I were married in 1954.
I attended Brigham Young University from 1952 through 1955 graduating with a BS in Accounting. I worked for Ernst and Ernst, an accounting firm, for about six months, before entering the Air Force for pilot training in May 1956. I received my Navigator wings at Harlingen, Texas in May 1958, and then went to Electronic Warfare Officer School in Biloxi, Mississippi. Later I went to Air Force Survival School and then to Yokota, Japan to fly in a RB-66C for one year. From Japan I went to Hill AFB, Utah to fly in B-57’s, and spent almost four years in a very enjoyable assignment close to my home (many TDYs, and attended Squadron Officer School). Our family became very active in the Mormon Church. I was a scoutmaster for several years.
I then had a staff assignment at Hg. 31st Air Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1964-1966. I received orders for Southeast Asia and reported to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to check out in the F-105 “Wild Weasel” program and arrived at Korat AB, Thailand 18 January 1967. I was shot down on my 13th mission on 18 February 1967. We were attacking a SAM site and a SAM missile got us. Exactly six years later, to the day, I was released with Honor.
I was very hurt and disappointed that my wife divorced me while I was a prisoner, but if that is what she wanted and needed, I am glad she was able to do so while I was a prisoner and not waiting until I returned. I was glad to receive the news while I was a prisoner so that I could adjust and make future plans.
I am going to Brigham Young University to obtain a Masters Degree in Business through AFIT, and then teach AFROTC there. I have been fulfilling as many speaking engagements as possible, and have been very impressed with the wonderful reception we POWs have received, as well as the hundreds of letters from bracelet holders and friends I have received and have answered. It really proves to me how grateful and sincere the American people are, and how wonderful America is. The greatest lesson I learned as a POW – to appreciate the many freedoms, blessings, living standards and opportunities we have in “America the Beautiful.” The thing that helped me most while I was a POW was my undying FAITH, faith and testimony in my God, Country, Family, and the People of America. I have written a book about my POW experiences entitled “Six Years in Hell” which should be published soon.
I am, and always will be, resolved that “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God, and my Country,” my family and, yes, to all mankind, for that is the reason we served so proudly in Vietnam – to protect, and preserve the freedom of South Vietnam – and will do so, in the future, for any other freedom loving country that needs us and is willing to defend their freedom.”
(source: Https://www.pownetwork.org/bios/j/j026.htm)

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

11/1950 Enlisted Utah Air National Guard
4/1951-10/1952 Active Duty
4/1956-5/1956 Navigator Training, Harlingen AFB, TX
5/1956-3/1959 Electronic Warfare Officer School, Kessler AFB, MS
3/1959-4/1960 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron/67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Yakota, Japan (RB-66C)
4/1960-11/1963 4677th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron, Hill AFB, UT (B-57 Canberra’s)
11/1963-4/1966 31st Air Division, Oklahoma City, OK
4/1966 Nellis AFB, Wild Weasel Training (F-105)
1/1967 until capture on 2/18/1967, spending 2,193 days in captivity
2/18/1973 Released during Operation Homecoming
8/1975 4392nd Civil Engineering Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, CA

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

B-57
RB-66C
F-105 Wild Weasel

Military Education

Squadron Officer School
Electronic Warfare Officer School in Biloxi, MS
Air Force Survival School

Civilian Education

1949 Jordan High School, Sandy, UT
1955 BS/Accounting, Brigham Young University
1979 MS/Business

Scroll to Top