JOHN R PITZEN
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HONORED ON PANEL 1W, LINE 67 OF THE WALL

JOHN RUSSELL PITZEN

WALL NAME

JOHN R PITZEN

PANEL / LINE

1W/67

DATE OF BIRTH

04/04/1934

CASUALTY PROVINCE

NZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

08/17/1972

HOME OF RECORD

STACYVILLE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Mitchell County

STATE

IA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

CDR

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN RUSSELL PITZEN
POSTED ON 10.10.2019
POSTED BY: Dean

Thank you

My dad is from Staceyville and was in Vietnam. I was always intrigued by his stories. The one that I was most interested in was Capt Pitzen. He was a true hero. Thank you so much for your sacrifice and service.
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POSTED ON 10.10.2019
POSTED BY: Dean

Thank you

My dad is from Staceyville and was in Vietnam. I was always intrigued by his stories. The one that I was most interested in was Capt Pitzen. He was a true hero. Thank you so much for your sacrifice and service.
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POSTED ON 10.19.2018

Final Mission of CDR John R. Pitzen

CDR John R. Pitzen was an F-4J pilot and LT Orland J. Pender Jr. a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) assigned to Fighter Squadron 114 onboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). On August 17, 1972, the two were assigned to fly escort protection for A-6A Intruder attack bombers against a target near Haiphong, North Vietnam. Their function would be to fly a night MIG combat air patrol, protecting the attack aircraft. Pitzen's aircraft was about one minute behind the Intruders when they crossed the enemy coastline. The Intruder reported four surface-to-air missiles (SAM) fired from the Haiphong area. Either Pitzen or Pender radioed to the pilot of an A-6, "Viceroy 507, are you at point alpha?" The A-6 pilot responded, "Affirmative," indicating that he was at the coast-in point. Pitzen and Pender were still about one minute behind the Intruder flight, and continued north to Hon Gay. Pitzen's aircraft reached Hon Gay at 1:40 AM and the Kitty Hawk radar lost contact with the aircraft at this time. At 1:44 AM, another SAM was observed by the A-6 in the Haiphong area. The missile flew five to ten seconds in level flight at approximately 11,000 feet and then was observed to explode into two large fireballs. When the F-4 did not call "feet wet" indicating its return out to sea along the coast line, an immediate electronic surveillance was initiated which was continued throughout the next day with no results. Both Pitzen and Pender were declared Missing in Action. The remains of both officers were returned to U.S. control on November 29, 1994. They were positively identified February 20, 1996. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and pownetwork.org]
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POSTED ON 9.10.2016
POSTED BY: Ed Reddick ADJ2 veteran of VF114

Brief Encounter

I had just gotten to the squadron in aug. of 1972 and was working under a Phantom on the hangar deck of the USS Kittyhawk. I saw a pair of khaki covered legs walk toward me. Being new in the Navy and new to the squadron I was nervous to think of an officer coming toward me at around 2 or 3 in the morning, but was soon put at ease by a pleasant friendly voice that just wanted to talk about my family and where I was from, how long I had been in the squadron that kind of stuff. I soon realized that this kind man I was speaking to was my commanding officer,cdr Pitzen. had never met him and this was really pleasant informal way to do so asked him if he was having trouble sleeping he replied that he indeed was. That was the last I saw of Cdr.Pitzen.I alwys felt he had that feeling you hear of some people having of pending doom. I have always felt somewhat close to him for that encounter and feel blessed to have those few moments with him.
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POSTED ON 12.17.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CDR John Russell Pitzen, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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