DUNN, JOHN HOWARD
Name: John Howard Dunn
Rank/Branch: 04/United States Marine Corps
Unit: VMFA 323
Date of Birth: 03 September 1930
Home City of Record: Glendive MT
Date of Loss: 07 December 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 194000N 1080229E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Frederick, John, remains returned 03/13/74 DIC
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 23 March 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: 02/12/73 Released by DRV
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
UPDATE - 03/97 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
J. HOWARD DUNN
Colonel - United States Marine Corps
Shot Down: December 7, 1965
Released: February 12, 1973
Born: 3 September 1930 in Glendive, Montana.
Father: Clifford H. Dunn of Mesa, Arizona, retired from International
Harvester - deceased.
Mother: Annie Mae Dunn - deceased.
Stepmother: Kathleen Dunn.
Brother: Eugene R. Dunn of Joshua, Texas, retired captain. Flew with
Schooling: Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah. Linfield College,
McMinville, Oregon -1 year. University of Utah, Salt Lake City - 3 years.
Bachelor of Science Degree. Pi Kappa Alpha, National Social Fraternity.
Flight training: 1951 to 1953 at Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi,
Texas. Wings and commission as Second Lieutenant in March 1953.
At time of shoot-down over North Vietnam, was Executive Officer of
Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 323 based at DaNang.
Two children - Kathryn Dunn and Clifford Dunn.
Shot down on 7 December 1965 while on high-altitude classified fighter escort
mission; captured 13 December 1965. Lived in seven different POW camps
(prisons and jails); spent 34 months in solitary confinement.
Detention could be characterized as "months of nothingness, punctuated by
moments of stark terror." Treatment prior to November 1969 was bad. Food was
insufficient in quantity. Many men were in solitary; no time outside of cells
and frequent torture and harsh punishment.
Prisoners were tortured primarily to force participation in propaganda efforts
that would benefit the North Vietnamese government and to attempt to break up
our prisoner of war organization, which is provided for under International
After Sontay Raid by a combined ARForce/Army Elite Force, December 1970 no
mass torture purges; food was adequate but quality remained poor. Prisoners
were allowed to live 20 to 40 men to a room and two to four hours daily of
outdoor time. No textbooks, pens, paper or outdoor athletic games until
August-September 1972 except for selected groups for very brief periods.
These actions designed to garner favorable publicity for North Vietnamese
Feel that faith in a Heavenly Being, dedication to country, trust in our
families, and trust in and loyalty to each other were main motivating factors
in our resistance and determination to survive.
Am pleased and grateful that President Nixon took measures that made it
possible for us to come home honorably and on our feet rather than bowing,
begging, or kneeling.
B-52 bombings during December 1972 was highlight of my imprisonment in North
UPDATED 1997 with information from J. Howard Dunn.
Col. Dunn had been the pilot of the F4B with the VMFA-323 when he was shot
down. He says his release after 7 years, 2 months and 5 days of captivity
was like a "rebirth of freedom." Howard Dunn retired from the United States
Marine Corps as a Colonel in August of 1974. He resides in Colorado where he
works as an environmental consultant. He enjoys both water and snow skiing,
and loves woodworking.
Col Dunn passed away January 14, 1998.
The Florida Times-Union
Friday, January 30, 1998
Vietnam POW dies; memorial service set
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Jacksonville
Jacksonville Naval Air Station's All Saints Chapel for Marine
Col. J. Howard Dunn, a combat pilot who was a prisoner of war in
North Vietnam for seven years and was the senior Marine
recruiter in Jacksonville from 1960 to 1964.
Col. Dunn, 67, died Jan. 14 in Longmont, Colo. At the time of
his death, he was a sales consultant for a wastewater equipment
manufacturer in Colorado.
Col. Dunn was a native of Glendive, Mont., and a graduate of
the University of Utah. He received his officer's commission as
a naval aviator in 1953 at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and
flew combat missions in Vietnam as executive officer of Marine
Fighter/Attack Squadron 323, based at Da Nang.
Col. Dunn was shot down over North Vietnam Dec. 7, 1965, while
flying an F4B Phantom jet, captured and held prisoner until his
release Feb. 12, 1973. During his imprisonment, he was held at
seven POW camps and served 34 months in solitary confinement. He
received two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, two Legion of
Merit awards and the Silver Star.
He retired from the Marine Corps in 1974. Col. Dunn is survived
by two children, Clifford Dunn of Jacksonville and Kathy Dunn of
Tampa; and a brother.
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