Robert D. Trier


 

Preferred Name: 

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: November 11, 1933 (December 20, 1965 MIA)

Highest Military Grade Held: Major

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Biography

From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Virtual Wall

  • Wall Name:ROBERT D TRIER
  • Date of Birth:11/11/1933
  • Date of Casualty:12/20/1965
  • Home of Record:MEMPHIS
  • County of Record:SHELBY COUNTY
  • State:TN
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:MAJ
  • Panel/Row:4E, 32
  • Casualty Province:NZ

On December 20, 1965, then Captain Robert Douglas Trier was the Electronic Weapons Officer on a F-100F (Aircraft # 58-1231) over North Vietnam piloted by Captain John J. Pitchford, Jr.

His fighter plane was shot down deep into North Vietnamese territory. Both airmen ejected. Captain Pitchford was captured and became a POW. Captain Trier was listed as MIA (Missing in Action) until 1973 when the North Vietnamese reported that he had been killed resisting capture. He was then declared dead, but his remains were not recovered until October 26th of 1982 and returned to his family October 30, 1982.  He was posthumously promoted to Major during the period he was MIA.

An article in the St. Petersburg Times on November 3, 1982 relates the story of his homecoming.

LAUDERDALE-BY_THE_SEA -(AP News Story) The body of Air Force Maj. Robert D. Trier is finally returning home, 17 years after he was declared missing in action in the Vietnam War.

“The return of the serviceman’s remains for burial marks the end of a long vigil for Trier’s wife Patricia, who has not known for certain whether her husband was alive or dead since his plane crashed in Communist-held territory in 1965.

Throughout the ordeal, her hope refused to died. ‘We thought at one time that he was alive,’ she said. ‘We thought we saw him on one of those films that they released. We thought he was a prisoner’

‘We thought he would come off the plane when those prisoners came home. But he didn’t.’

Trier’s remains were returned to the United States last month, along with those of three other American servicemen who fell in the Vietnam conflict.

‘We’re going to bury him at Arlington National Cemetery,’ said Mrs. Trier. ‘That was his desire if he was killed or wounded.’

Mrs. Trier was 28 when she was first notified that her husband’s plane had gone down over Vietnam. She said she then accepted the fact that her husband of eight years might be dead. But as she heard stories of living prisoners of war in North Vietnam, she was given new hope.

The Air Force, said Mrs. Trier, ‘just said he was shot down over North Vietnam. That’s all they could say. He was in an area where they couldn’t send the helicopters to pick him up if he was alive.’

Trier was finally declared dead in 1973, when the North Vietnamese said he was killed while resisting capture. But again Mrs. Trier found reason to hope.

‘I never really thought much about him being alive after that, until I started hearing stories and reading things in the paper,’ said the 45-year-old woman, referring to tales that American servicemen might still be alive and in captivity in Vietnam. Since 1973, the Hanoi government has returned the remains of 80 servicemen. According to Pentagon records, some 2,500 men still remain unaccounted for.

Trier had been in Vietnam three weeks when the F-100 fighter he was flying in went down deep in North Vietnamese territory on Dec. 20, 1965.

The Air Force is flying Mrs. Trier and her children to Arlington next week for the funeral, scheduled for Monday. Mrs. Trier says she is glad her years of unknowing hope are over.

‘I’m grateful that they found him because I heard a lot of stories lately that there might be some prisoners over there, and the thought had crossed my mind,’ she said. ‘I’m glad he got home.’ ”

Trier: Panel 4E, Row 32 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Units Assigned

6234 Tactical Fighter Wing

Awards & Decorations

Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation

Flight Info

F-100

Military Education

Civilian Education

Biography

Biography

From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Virtual Wall

  • Wall Name:ROBERT D TRIER
  • Date of Birth:11/11/1933
  • Date of Casualty:12/20/1965
  • Home of Record:MEMPHIS
  • County of Record:SHELBY COUNTY
  • State:TN
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:MAJ
  • Panel/Row:4E, 32
  • Casualty Province:NZ
POW/Shot Down

On December 20, 1965, then Captain Robert Douglas Trier was the Electronic Weapons Officer on a F-100F (Aircraft # 58-1231) over North Vietnam piloted by Captain John J. Pitchford, Jr.

His fighter plane was shot down deep into North Vietnamese territory. Both airmen ejected. Captain Pitchford was captured and became a POW. Captain Trier was listed as MIA (Missing in Action) until 1973 when the North Vietnamese reported that he had been killed resisting capture. He was then declared dead, but his remains were not recovered until October 26th of 1982 and returned to his family October 30, 1982.  He was posthumously promoted to Major during the period he was MIA.

An article in the St. Petersburg Times on November 3, 1982 relates the story of his homecoming.

LAUDERDALE-BY_THE_SEA -(AP News Story) The body of Air Force Maj. Robert D. Trier is finally returning home, 17 years after he was declared missing in action in the Vietnam War.

“The return of the serviceman’s remains for burial marks the end of a long vigil for Trier’s wife Patricia, who has not known for certain whether her husband was alive or dead since his plane crashed in Communist-held territory in 1965.

Throughout the ordeal, her hope refused to died. ‘We thought at one time that he was alive,’ she said. ‘We thought we saw him on one of those films that they released. We thought he was a prisoner’

‘We thought he would come off the plane when those prisoners came home. But he didn’t.’

Trier’s remains were returned to the United States last month, along with those of three other American servicemen who fell in the Vietnam conflict.

‘We’re going to bury him at Arlington National Cemetery,’ said Mrs. Trier. ‘That was his desire if he was killed or wounded.’

Mrs. Trier was 28 when she was first notified that her husband’s plane had gone down over Vietnam. She said she then accepted the fact that her husband of eight years might be dead. But as she heard stories of living prisoners of war in North Vietnam, she was given new hope.

The Air Force, said Mrs. Trier, ‘just said he was shot down over North Vietnam. That’s all they could say. He was in an area where they couldn’t send the helicopters to pick him up if he was alive.’

Trier was finally declared dead in 1973, when the North Vietnamese said he was killed while resisting capture. But again Mrs. Trier found reason to hope.

‘I never really thought much about him being alive after that, until I started hearing stories and reading things in the paper,’ said the 45-year-old woman, referring to tales that American servicemen might still be alive and in captivity in Vietnam. Since 1973, the Hanoi government has returned the remains of 80 servicemen. According to Pentagon records, some 2,500 men still remain unaccounted for.

Trier had been in Vietnam three weeks when the F-100 fighter he was flying in went down deep in North Vietnamese territory on Dec. 20, 1965.

The Air Force is flying Mrs. Trier and her children to Arlington next week for the funeral, scheduled for Monday. Mrs. Trier says she is glad her years of unknowing hope are over.

‘I’m grateful that they found him because I heard a lot of stories lately that there might be some prisoners over there, and the thought had crossed my mind,’ she said. ‘I’m glad he got home.’ ”

Trier: Panel 4E, Row 32 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

6234 Tactical Fighter Wing

Awards & Decorations

Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation

Flight Info

F-100

Military Education

Civilian Education

Video