Stirm, Robert Lewis, Col

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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1967-1973, POW North Vietnam
Service Years
1953 - 1977
Officer Collar Insignia

 Official Badges 

Air Force Commander Air Training Command Instructor (pre-1966) Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
American Ex-POW AssociationNam-POWS
  1973, American Ex-POW Association - Assoc. Page
  2017, Nam-POWS

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
The Service Photo above depicts Col. Stirm on the day he was returned safe
to his family after years as a POW.


Name: Robert Lewis Stirm
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 333rd TFS
Date of Birth: 1932
Home City of Record: San Francisco CA
Date of Loss: 27 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213400 North 1053300 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D

Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews.


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

Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: October 27, 1967
Released: March 14, 1973

I was born 41 years ago in San Francisco, California. I attended San Mateo
Park School, San Mateo High School, and San Mateo Junior College,
California. I then went to the University of Colorado where I studied
Mechanical Engineering. I entered Aviation Cadets in the summer of 1953. My
operational assignments were:

96 FTR INTCP SQ, Newcastle County ARPT, F-94C
57 FTR INTCP SQ, Keflavik, Iceland, F-89C/D
432 FTR INTCP SQ, Minneapolis International, F-89D/H
54 FTR INTCP SQ, Ellsworth AFB, F-X9J
64 FTR INTCP SQ, McCord AFB, F-102
318 FTR INTCP SQ, McCord AFB, F-106
32 FTR INTCP SQ, So. Esterberg, F-102
333 TAC FTR SQ, Tahkli, F-105

In addition, I flew the F-86D in training and spent three years on a
Tactical Evaluation team as an F-106 pilot. I also have a bit of T-39, T-33
and B-25 time. My total flying time is 3700 hours. I went to SQ Officer
School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, Instrument Pilot Instructor School, and took a
course in Interceptor Weapons School. I have been flight Commander for
several squadrons, Training Evaluation Officer, and was the Training and
Project Officer. I flew on the winning NATO-AI RCENT Fighter Competition
team and was high scoring pilot on the 32 FIS winning "William Tell-1965"

On 6 February 1955 I was married and I have four children, Lorrie Alynne,
Robert L. Jr., Roger David and Cynthia Leigh. They all reside in Foster
City, California. I am a member of the Episcopal Church, I like photography,
woodworking, skiing, swimming and sailing. l am unsure of my future plans. I
will possibly stay in the Air Force and attend the Air War College, or I may
retire and work in the San Francisco Bay area.

I was shot down over Hanoi 27 October 1967 while leading a flight of F-105Ds
on Canal Des Rapides Bridge. They captured me immediately on landing and I
was displayed in Hanoi that night. I was detained in various cells of five
different POW camps and was in solitary confinement a total of 281 days.
They turned me over to US control on 14 March 1973.

During my imprisonment in North Vietnam, I had an outstanding opportunity to
take an introspective look at myself in the past and in the present, and
reaffirm my faith and confidence in Christianity, our government, and our
way of life. I reviewed as much of my past life as I could remember, which,
surprisingly enough, was more than I would otherwise believe, and evaluated
for myself my lifetime objectives and goals. I never once lost faith in our
government, our President, or my family. With the help of other POWs, I was
able to understand a little more of Christianity and its importance in my
life. God has truly blessed our Flag, our Nation and the American People.
Those many heartrending letters I've received proved to be an overwhelming
emotional experience and I am truly grateful to the patriotically spirited
citizens. I thank you all and may God bless you.

Robert Stirm retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He lives
in California.
Other Comments:
Not Specified
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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight SchoolSquadron Officer School (SOS)Air Force Interceptor Weapons School  (Staff)Instrument Pilot Instructor School (IPIS)
96th Fighter Squadron57th Fighter Squadron  - Black Knights64th Fighter Squadron318th Fighter Squadron
32nd Fighter Squadron333rd Fighter SquadronPrisoner Of War (POW)
  1953-1954, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1954-1967, Squadron Officer School (SOS)
  1954-1967, Air Force Interceptor Weapons School (Staff)
  1954-1967, Instrument Pilot Instructor School (IPIS)
  1954-1977, 96th Fighter Squadron
  1954-1977, 57th Fighter Squadron - Black Knights
  1954-1977, 64th Fighter Squadron
  1954-1977, 318th Fighter Squadron
  1954-1977, 32nd Fighter Squadron
  1966-1973, 333rd Fighter Squadron
  1967-1973, POW North Vietnam
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1973 Various Air Missions over North Vietnam
 Colleges Attended 
University of Colorado
  1950-1953, University of Colorado
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-94 Starfire  F-89 Scorpion  T-33 Shooting Star (T-Bird)  F-102 Delta Dagger  
F-106 Delta Dart  F-102 Delta Dagger  F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)  F-4 Phantom  
  1954-1955, F-94 Starfire
  1955-1958, F-89 Scorpion
  1958-1959, T-33 Shooting Star (T-Bird)
  1959-1960, F-102 Delta Dagger
  1962-1964, F-106 Delta Dart
  1964-1967, F-102 Delta Dagger
  1967-1967, F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)
  1974-1977, F-4 Phantom
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