ZUHOSKI, CHARLES PETER
Name: Charles Peter Zuhoski
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: VF 111
Date of Birth: New York, NY
Home City of Record: Jamesport NY
Date of Loss: 31 July 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205700N 1060400E (XJ108167)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
REMARKS: 730314 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war.
Lt. Charles P. Zuhoski was the pilot of an F8C sent on a combat mission over
North Vietnam on July 31, 1967. His flight route took him to Hai Hung
Province, North Vietnam, where his aircraft was shot down about 20 miles
southeast of Hanoi. Zuhoski was captured by the North Vietnamese.
For the next 6 years, Zuhoski was held in various prisoner of war camps,
including the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" complex in Hanoi. They were released
in the general prisoner release in 1973.
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 could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.
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
CHARLES P. ZUHOSKI
Lieutenant - United States Navy
Shot Down: July 31, 1967
Released: March 14, 1973
I was born in New York City, New York. My parents are Dr. and Mrs. Peter B.
Zuhoski. I grew up in Jamesport, New York and attended the Riverhead High
School as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where I
received a BS degree in Mathematics. I entered the service 14 October 1964
and was commissioned on 5 March 1965 at OCS, Newport, Rhode Island.
I received orders to Flight Training at Pensacola, Meridian, Pensacola
again, and finally Kingsville, Texas. I received my wings of gold on 23
August 1966. I was then sent from Flight Training to F-8 Rag. VF-124 in San
Diego, California. While there I met Patricia Laura Highly and we were
married 3 June 1967. I reported aboard VF-111 in March of 1967 and deployed
aboard USS Oriskany in mid-June 1967. After two weeks on line I was shot
down by a SAM near Hanoi on 31 July 1967.
The initial processing of me was speedy. l had been shot down and captured
about 8:15 and I guess I was in "New Guy Village" and in the ropes by 10:30
on the 31st. During my internment I have been in the following prisons: the
Annex, the Zoo, Halo, back to the Zoo with Ed Estes, back to Halo, then to
the Mountains at Dogpatch. I was a POW five years and seven months. I
consider myself lucky for I was not singled out during hard times as many of
the POWs were.
I would like to state that I couldn't be more proud than to have been
associated with the 4th Allied POW Wing. Under the circumstances I consider
the whole group upheld the finest tradition of the U. S. Armed Forces. These
traditions were a great inspiration to me during those difficult years.
Remember the Vietnamese do not select who they capture. It was all a matter
of chance. One can therefore conclude that the 4th Allied POW Wing reflects
the quality of men in the Armed Services. This quality is characterized by
faith in God and Country and a pride in their United States Citizenship.
Tentatively, my future plans are to remain in the Service, return to
Fighters, and continue my education.
Charles Zuhoski retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He and
his wife Marcia reside in Virginia.
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