30 September 1966 – LtCol Walter “Mel” Fowler’s F-100 #553502 is hit in the engine by gunfire over SVN. He came close to capture or death by closely advancing Viet Cong before his wingman suppressed the advancing VC and he was picked up from the rice paddy by an Army Helo. Fowler was serving with
Lewis Wiley Shattuck
A native of the state of Washington, Colonel Shattuck was educated there until his enlistment in the Air Force in 1952. He graduated from Aviation Cadet school in 1954 and served in both Japan and Italy as well as various posts in the U.S. He volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia and was accepted in February 1966.
“Colonel Shattuck flew forty-two missions in North Vietnam and twenty-one in Laos. He was shot down on July 1, 1966, but made it to about seventeen miles out to sea to be rescued by an SA16 and then was shot down again. He made his adjustment to prison life and decided at once that he actually did want to live to return to the great and glorious country of America.”
He was released on February 12, 1973, as part of Operation Homecoming.
Lewis Shattuck retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his wife Sharon reside in Washington State.
Colonel Shattuck’s Silver Star was awarded for gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during July 1966, while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. Lieutenant Colonel Shattuck resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
His Legion of Merit Medal was given for “His ceaseless efforts, by a continuous showing of resistance to an enemy who ignored all international agreements on treatment of Prisoners of War, in the extremely adverse conditions of the communist prisons of North Vietnam, demonstrated his professional competence, unwavering devotion, and loyalty to his country. Despite the harsh treatment through his long years of incarceration, he continued to perform his duties in a clearly exceptional manner which reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.” Shattuck also received 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses.