Thomas N. Moe

POW 1968 – 1973

Name: Thomas Nelson Moe
Rank/Branch: O2/United States Air Force
Unit: 366AW
Home City of Record: Arlington VA
Date of Loss: 16 January 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam

Loss Coordinates: 180000 North 1055500 East
Status (in 1973): Releasee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Missions: 85
Other Personnel in Incident: Scott Stovin, pilot, rescued

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

Shot Down: January 16, 1968
Released: March 14, 1973

There were two things that helped me get through the hard times. One was an
appraisal of the situation that if I moped and dwelled on some cloudy dreamy
future, it would be depressing. So I lived each day as it came. I considered
that my real life was being a prisoner so I should make the best of it since
it was at hand and I should not get tangled up with the future so that my
present survival would be jeopardized. The second thing, after accomplishing
the first, was to plan for the future and try to do something in the present
to bring fruit in the future. For instance, I learned French and Russian so
that I might use them in a future-planned career. My faith in God became very
real but it was not a dependency faith. God gave the strength if I had the
guts to do something and believed in an ultimate truth. Moral law as well as
physical laws are self evident, I discovered, and if I followed my conscience,
I felt I could do no more and God’s truth would do the rest. I feel that I
developed a strong faith in my country but I also matured in my understanding
of governments. The reason we have and need a democracy is that men are men –
weak, not always motivated by the most honorable intents – and through due
process we maintain a clean society from top to bottom. That is, a firm trust
and confidence in my leaders but not a naive disillusionment should a bad
apple show up anywhere in the system, because the electoral processes could
take care of that.

I was commissioned at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. My wife and I were
married the following September after which we moved to my first assignment. I
entered Pilot training at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama. I graduated
and went on to F-4C training at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tuscon, Arizona. While we
were there our first child was born. I was then assigned to the 366th Wing at
Danang Air Base, South Vietnam. I flew 80 combat missions. On January 16, 1968
a 750 lb. GP bomb detonated near my aircraft forcing me to eject.

I have been accepted by Notre Dame to begin a Master’s program. My Master’s
degree will be in International Relations. It looks like my language and
geography studies in Hanoi will bear fruit indeed.

God has blessed my family with longevity through these years. My parents live
in Virginia; my older sister, her husband and three sons live in Atlanta; my
younger sister, her husband and two daughters live at Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina; my brother is a sophomore at Capital University.

The spirit of the Operation Homecoming was the very soul of the American
family. I do not feel that the glowing happiness bursting out from everyone I
have met was really directed at me or any specific man. It is a total spirit
of happiness and helpfulness and devotion which is our very society. I feel a
part of this incredible outpouring of emotion not an object of it. Our
government, a reflection of popular will guided by talented, brave men, and a
united society of hard working generous souls made possible our homecoming. My heart goes to every American at this most wonderful time of my life. God

Thomas Moe retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his
wife Chris reside in Indiana.

Information provided by Tom Moe:

Missions: NVN: 60 SVN: 5 Laos: 20 Most missions in NVN were
interdiction (what a joke). Most in SVN were either close air support or
Ranch Hand flights in the DMZ with our C123 brothers. In Laos I dropped
mostly mines or sensors. For the latter, we flew jointly with the Navy or
the spooks laying down smoke at 50 feet and 500 kts to provide them cover.
Nice tour of the rocks and rills so to speak. My squadron had F-4 Cs and
Ds. I met my demise in a brand new D model which had just arrived from the
factory–first operation- al flight. I was a back seat pilot (one of the
last before they turned over that job to the navs who were the right people
for the job). My front seat pilot was Scott Stovin who was rescued a couple
of hours after I was bagged. We hid in the bushes and ducked the V for three
days before the rescue ops focused their search. Our wingman was knocked
down by the same bomb that knocked us down. I don’t remember their names,
but I think the front seater ‘s name was Major Lewis. The back seater was a
pilot too. They were both rescued on the first day. During rescue ops on
day two, one of the Sandy, A1, drivers, augered in only a few hundred meters
from me. I felt the ground shake when he went in. I believe his name was
Wilkie–I inquired about him as soon as I got to Clark after our release in

NETWORK NOTE: Robert F. Wilke, USAF is still POW/MIA – Tom Moe says, “I wish
I could be more positive about the fate of Robert Wilke. There is no doubt
he was killed instantly when his aircraft impacted the ground near me in
North Vietnam. He was a brave person who died trying to save my life. I will
never forget his sacrifice.