LANCE P SIJAN
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HONORED ON PANEL 29E, LINE 62 OF THE WALL

LANCE PETER SIJAN

WALL NAME

LANCE P SIJAN

PANEL / LINE

29E/62

DATE OF BIRTH

04/13/1942

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/09/1967

HOME OF RECORD

MILWAUKEE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Milwaukee County

STATE

WI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

CAPT

ASSOCIATED ITEMS LEFT AT THE WALL

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR LANCE PETER SIJAN
POSTED ON 4.5.2000
POSTED BY: Greg A Summerlot

Thanks

I first heard of Lance while reading John McCain's book Faith in my Fathers. After reading his book I searched on the internet for more information. I found Malcolm McConnell's book Into The Mouth of the Cat and ordered it. I have since read it and found it to be a very positive book.I was born in January of 1970 over two year's after Lance's death. I don't remember any thing of the Vietnam war for I was to young but upon reading about Lance and others like him make me proud to be an American. Those Brave men and women that served over there all deserve respect because they answered their countries call while others protested them.
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POSTED ON 2.3.2000
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THESE TWO HEROIC UNITED STATES AIR FORCE OFFICERS WHOSE NAMES SHALL LIVE FOREVER MORE



CAPTAIN

LANCE PETER SIJAN

AND

COLONEL

JOHN WILLIAM ARMSTRONG


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


ON NOVEMBER 9, 1967

CAPTAIN SIJAN WAS THE PILOT, AND

COLONEL ARMSTRONG THE BOMBARDIER / NAVIGATOR

OF AN F4C PHANTOM FIGHTER / BOMBER SENT OUT

ON A MISSION OVER LAOS AND WERE FLYING LOW

OVER THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL WHEN, AT ABOUT

2100 HRS, THE AIRCRAFT WAS HIT BY A SURFACE-

TO-AIR STRIKE MISSILE (SAM) AND CRASHED.

THESE TWO PILOTS WENT DOWN NEAR THE FAMED

MU GIA PASS, A PASS IN THE MOUNTAINOUS BORDER

REGION OF LAOS AND VIETNAM. IT WAS NOT UNTIL

NEARLY SIX YEARS LATER THAT IT WAS LEARNED

WHAT HAPPENED TO BOTH OF THEM AS THEY HAD

BEEN CLASSIFIED AS BEING

MISSING IN ACTION.


SIJAN EVADED CAPTURE FOR NEARLY SIX WEEKS,

DURING THIS TIME, HE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED

AND SUFFERED FROM SHOCK AND EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS

DUE TO LACK OF FOOD. THE EXTREMELY RUGGED

TERRAIN WAS SOMETIMES ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE, BUT

SIJAN CONTINUED TO TRY TO REACH FRIENDLY FORCES.

AFTER BEING CAPTURED BY NORTH VIETNAMESE TROOPS,

HE WAS TAKEN TO A HOLDING POINT FOR SUBSEQUENT

TRANSFER TO A PRISONER OF WAR CAMP. IN HIS

EMACIATED AND CRIPPLED CONDITION, HE OVERPOWERED

ONE OF HIS GUARDS AND CRAWLED INTO THE JUNGLE,

ONLY TO BE RECAPTURED AFTER SEVERAL HOURS.

HE WAS THEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER PRISON CAMP

WHERE HE WAS KEPT IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT AND

INTERROGATED AT LENGTH. DURING THIS QUESTIONING

HE WAS SEVERELY TORTURED, YET DID NOT REVEAL

ANY INFORMATION TO HIS CAPTORS.

SIJAN LAPSED INTO DELIRIUM AND WAS PLACED IN THE

CARE OF ANOTHER AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR.

DURING INTERMITTENT PERIODS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

UNTIL HIS DEATH HE NEVER COMPLAINED OF HIS

PHYSICAL CONDITION, AND ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS

KEPT TALKING ABOUT FURTHER ESCAPE ATTEMPTS.

HE WAS BARELY ALIVE, YET CONTINUED TO FIGHT.

DURING THE PERIOD HE WAS CARED FOR, HE ALSO

TOLD THE STORY OF HIS SHOOTDOWN AND EVASION

TO OTHER AMERICANS. AFTER THEIR RELEASE HIS

INCREDIBLE STORY WAS TOLD IN "INTO THE MOUTH

OF THE CAT", AN ACCOUNT WRITTEN BY MALCOLM

McCONNELL FROM STORIES BROUGHT BACK BY THE

RETURNING AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR.

SIJAN RELATED TO FELLOW POWs THAT THE AIRCRAFT

HAD CLIMBED TO APPROXIMATELY 10000 FEET AFTER

BEING STRUCK. SIJAN BAILED OUT, BUT WAS UNABLE

TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO LTC ARMSTRONG BECAUSE

OF THE DARKNESS.

IN 1977, A PATHET LAO DEFECTOR, WHO CLAIMED TO BE A

PRISON CAMP GUARD, STATED HE HAD BEEN GUARDING

SEVERAL AMERICANS. ACCORDING TO HIS REPORT,

ONE WAS NAMED "ARMSTRONG". THERE ARE ONLY TWO

AMERICANS LISTED AS MISSING IN ACTION WITH THE

LAST NAME OF "ARMSTRONG", AND THERE IS LITTLE

QUESTION THAT THE OTHER "ARMSTRONG", MAJOR

FRANK ALTON ARMSTRONG III, DIED AT THE

TIME OF HIS CRASH. THE DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE

AGENCY PLACES NO VALIDITY IN THIS REPORT.



SIJAN WAS FINALLY REMOVED FROM THE CARE OF

OTHER POWs WHO WERE TOLD THAT HE WAS BEING

TAKEN TO A HOSPITAL. THEY NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.

HIS REMAINS WERE RETURNED ON MARCH 13, 1974.

IN THE EARLY 1980'S, LTC JAMES "BO" GRITZ

CONDUCTED A NUMBER OF MISSIONS INTO LAOS

ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN POSITIVE PROOF OF LIVE

PRISONERS OF WAR. ALTHOUGH GRITZ FAILED TO

FREE ANYONE, HE RETURNED WITH A WEALTH OF

INFORMATION ON AMERICANS. ONE THING RECOVERED

WAS THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY RING

FOR THE CLASS OF 1965, INSCRIBED WITH THE NAME

"LANCE PETER SIJAN", WHICH WAS RETURNED TO

HIS FAMILY.

LANCE SIJAN WAS CAPTURED BY THE NORTH VIETNAMESE.

IT IS THEORIZED THAT SINCE THE PATHET LAO

ALSO OPERATED THROUGHOUT LAOS, IT IS POSSIBLE

THAT COLONEL ARMSTRONG, IF HE WAS CAPTURED,

WAS TAKEN PRISONER BY THE PATHET LAO.

NEARLY 600 AMERICANS WHO WERE LOST IN LAOS

DISAPPEARED AND NOT ONE AMERICAN HELD BY THE

PATHET LAO HAVE EVER BEEN RELEASED.


LANCE PETER SIJAN

WAS A GRADUATE OF THE

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY

AT COLORADO SPRINGS

IN THE CLASS OF 1965.

HE WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF CAPTAIN

DURING HIS CAPTIVITY AND WAS AWARDED

- THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR -

FOR HIS EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM DURING HIS

EVASION AND CAPTIVITY. HE BECAME LEGENDARY

IN HIS ESCAPE ATTEMPTS AND ENDURANCE, EVEN

TO HIS NORTH VIETNAMESE CAPTORS.


JOHN WILLIAM ARMSTRONG

WAS A DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE OF THE

UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY

AT WEST POINT

IN THE CLASS OF 1949.

HE WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF

COLONEL

DURING THE PERIOD HE WAS MAINTAINED AS BEING

MISSING IN ACTION.



IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LIVED ONE DAY AS A LION
THAN ONE THOUSAND DAYS AS A SHEEP



YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
NOR SHALL YOU EVER BE


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POSTED ON 1.27.2000
POSTED BY: SrA Noel A. Freeman

What Honor Is

For me, Capt. Sijan is the true embodiment of what HONOR is. I wear a bracelet with his name on it. Sometimes, the bracelet gets caught on my sleeve or something else, or gets somewhat annoying. That makes me think. How can I get annoyed by a little silver bracelet, when he died in captivity after facing terrible injuries and trying to escape. Who am I to think a bracelet is inconvenient? What about losing your son in battle? What about the ultimate sacrifice. If I could say I have a hero, Capt. Sijan is it. He is HONOR.
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POSTED ON 4.7.1999
POSTED BY: Tim Ketchie

A Hero To All

Lance was, and still is, an inspiration to all who know his story. Rest in Peace forever.
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POSTED ON 1.7.1999
POSTED BY: Larry C. (Beav) Souder

A True American Hero

I never knew Lance Sijan, but his courage and honor while a POW will make him a hero in my eyes forever.

You are what freedom is all about, Lance
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