ROBERT J PANEK SR
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (2)
HONORED ON PANEL 14W, LINE 76 OF THE WALL

ROBERT JOSEPH SR PANEK

WALL NAME

ROBERT J PANEK SR

PANEL / LINE

14W/76

DATE OF BIRTH

06/10/1939

CASUALTY PROVINCE

NZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

01/28/1970

HOME OF RECORD

CHICAGO

COUNTY OF RECORD

Cook County

STATE

IL

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

LTC

ASSOCIATED ITEMS LEFT AT THE WALL

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ROBERT JOSEPH SR PANEK
POSTED ON 6.3.2015

Remembering

I also wore a bracelet with his name. After all these years, I still think of him every now and then and am not sure why it took me this long to think of using the internet to find him. I hope his family found comfort in knowing so many of us thought of him and remembered him.

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POSTED ON 5.26.2015
POSTED BY: TMO

Robert J. Panek Sr.

I got my bracelet while in grade school. Did not know there were several distributed with the same name. It has been an honor to have this bracelet for all these years. If the family of Robert would like to have this bracelet I would gladly send it to them.
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POSTED ON 12.14.2014

Robert J Panek Sr

I also bought a bracelet in 1971 I wore it for many years and then we packed it away with our Christmas decorations and it has proudly hung on our tree every Christmas since. We think of the sacrifice this young man made so that our country. I often wondered if his son had a bracelet.
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POSTED ON 10.4.2014

Final Mission of CAPT Robert J. Panek

On January 28, 1970, pilot CAPT Richard J. Mallon and electronics warfare officer CAPT Robert J. Panek were sent as escort to a reconnaissance aircraft on a mission in North Vietnam. Their F-105 aircraft was a G model, which was an adaptation of the F-105F used in the Wild Weasel program. The F-105F Wild Weasel featured radar homing and warning gear. Upon pinpointing the radar at a missile site, the Wild Weasel attacked with Shrike missiles that homed in on radar emissions. The F-105F was a stretch-limo F105, with a longer fusilage to allow for a second crewman. As modified for the G, the F105 launched Standard ARM rather than the shorter range Shrike. During the period of 1965-1972, the F105 performed on many diversified missions in Southeast Asia, including SAM attack, bombing, and as in the case of the mission of Mallon and Panek, armed escort/diversion. Mallon and Panek's aircraft was shot down during the mission, and they both successfully ejected and landed safely in an enemy controlled area about 20 miles northeast of the Mu Gia Pass on the mountainous border of North Vietnam and Laos. A helicopter was immediately dispatched to pick up the two downed airmen. When the aircraft was about 50 miles northwest of the location of the F-105 crash,it was hit by a MiG and exploded. The helicopter was flown by pilot MAJ Holly G. Bell, and carried crewmen CAPT Leonard C. Leeser, SMSGT William D. Pruett, SSGT William C. Shinn, MSGT William C. Sutton, and passenger SGT Gregory L. Anderson. A short beeper signal was heard from the helicopter, indicating that at least one person aboard may have exited the aircraft. All six aboard were listed as Killed/Body Not Recovered. It was thought that in the cases of Bell and Anderson that the enemy would not likely have knowledge of their fates, but that the Vietnamese could probably account for the other four men. (A determination that was probably made from the relative crew positions and their proximity to the area of the MiG hit and the likelihood of their having escaped obliteration by the explosion.) Mallon and Panek, meanwhile, were in an area heavily infiltrated with the enemy, and it was known that there were enemy troops in the vicinity. It was thought very probable that the two were captured or killed by the enemy, but never known for certain, as they did not appear in the Hanoi prison system to be held with those American POWs who were released. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of any of the eight men missing that day. Sometime later, family members were told by a squadron mate that his information was that Panek and Mallon had both ejected safely. Mallon had landed on a road near the Mu Gia Pass and was captured almost immediately. Panek landed in nearby trees and his parachute was seen 30 minutes later, being pulled from the trees. Both men were seen in a clearing within the hour, being surrounded, stripped to their shorts, and holding their hands in the air. Neither Mallon nor Panek were ever classified Prisoner of War, however, but were maintained in Missing in Action Status. In December 1988, the Vietnamese returned a number of remains they stated were those of American servicemen to U.S. control. The remains of Mallon, Panek, and the helicopter pilot, Holly G. Bell were subsequently positively identified by the U.S. Casualty Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI). Richard J. Mallon was buried in Willamette National Cemetery. [Narrative taken from pownetwork.org; image from wikipedia.org]
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POSTED ON 4.26.2014
POSTED BY: Ann Skinner

Robert Panek

I wore a POW bracelet with your name on it as a child.
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