In Memory

Stephen Cuthbert



 
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05/13/10 09:27 AM #2    

Paul Hannegan

 Steve was a Major in the Air Force, flying F-4's, and was shot down on July 3, 1972. He was one of the later casualties of the war. I was privileged to have visited the Viet Nam Memorial on the day of dedication in November of 1982. I even have a photo of his name on his panel. The panels in the wall are arranged in chronological order, and his name is about half way down the final panel.  At the time he was listed in the records as MIA, but his body was finally discovered and returned for burial in the early 90's, although I don't know where. One of my best friends from high school, I had lost touch with him after he joined the Air Force and I had moved to Seattle. I never met his wife and children, sorry to say, and did not find out about him until the 20th reunion. He was full of life and dreams, and I've never forgotten him.

Paul Hannegan


06/05/10 01:38 PM #3    

Robert Nichelini

 

Reproduced from the records of Steve's last mission:

SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.

The F4J fighter plane piloted by Stephen Cuthbert and navigated by Marion "Tony" Marshall was shot down on July 3, 1972, 70 miles northwest of Dong Hoi in North Vietnam. A September 1972 Radio Hanoi broadcast stated that the North Vietnamese had captured Capt. Marshall and mentioned the pilot, Cuthbert, by name.
 
Marshall was taken prisoner and subsequently released in the spring of 1973. He maintains that he never revealed the correct name of his pilot, although just one week before he was to be released, Marshall's Vietnamese captors returned his personal belongings to him, and included Cuthbert's custom-made wedding band.
 
The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of Cuthbert. They maintain that to "discover" additional information on Americans, they must have increased "cooperation" from the United States so that their people will perceive "good will." Cuthbert is one of nearly 2500 Americans lost in Southeast Asia, and only one of many about whom the Vietnamese have certain knowledge which they are withholding.
 
Stephen H. Cuthbert was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he
was maintained Missing in Action.
 
MARION A.  MARSHALL Captain - United States Air Force Shot Down: July 3, 1972 Released: March 29, 1973
I was born in Washington, D. C. and lived in Maryland with my mother and sister until I entered the United States Air Force Academy in June 1964, after graduating from Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  I graduated from the Academy in 1968 and attended Navigator  Training and Electronic Warfare Training at Mather Air Force Base, California.  After survival training, I spent a year at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida in the F-4  I was then assigned to the 13th TFS at Udorn RTAB, Thailand. I remained with this Sierra Hotel Squadron from April 1971 until that fateful  day-3 July 1972.
Upon completion of my normal tour at Udorn, RTAB, Thailand, I extended for six additional months. I was on a mission  as an F-4  backseater on a Fast FAC (Foward Air Controller) mission in the southern part of North Vietnam on 3 July 1972. While we were in a dive to mark a target our external centerline fuel tank apparently collapsed, causing the aircraft to become uncontrollable. I was ejected  by the aircraft commander (Stephen Cuthbert). I must have been in shock following the ejection because I can only remember hitting the ground and standing there dazed for  an unknown length of time.  My next conscious recollection is of helping the Vietnamese remove my gun and G-suit after which I do not recall anything until I suddenly "awakened," to find myself stripped  and tied in an underground bunker - here I first realized that I was in trouble and completely alone. It was an empty feeling  I was moved to a village  during the night and interrogated the following day.
The interrogation was surprisingly  brief and shallow, and the treatment was outstanding - compared to what I had expected. I told them that I was on the mission as a photographer, hoping to escape before  my story caught up with me. I reached Hanoi after traveling by jeep for five nights and hiding during the days, spent Eve days in a loose solitary confinement and was moved with four other men from the Hilton to the Zoo, where we moved in with four additional men who had been captured recently. I remained at the Zoo until  I was repatriated on 29 March 1973, except for  a brief return trip to the Hilton  during the December campaign.
I was confident that it was simply a matter of time until I would be released - whenever the war ended, and since I knew early  that my family knew that I was OK, I did not suffer  any anxiety over my situation  as my training had prepared me for the worst possible situation.  Also, I of course, always realized that I faced  this  possibility whenever I went on a mission.
The most difficult part of my internment was living  with the knowledge that I had caused my family  and friends  to suffer  a period of anxiety and worry, for which they could never be properly  prepared. They were among the lucky ones however. The families of the men who are still  MIA have endured and continue to endure a pain far worse than any torture we could have suffered. My prayers are with these families.


11/03/15 04:18 PM #4    

Arthur Neighbor

For those interested regarding The Vietnam Memorial Wall and Major 'Stephen Howard Cuthbert' of Oakland, California, the following link (hope it takes) will provide more exacting information.

www.virtualwall.org:dc:CuthbertSH01a.htm.webloc

Should a problem occur use search engine for virtual wall.org where statistics, etc! are available online.

Sad that what happened to Stephen occurred during 'drawdown' of all U.S. Forces from Republic of Vietnam beginning and for the most part completed during 1972.

A.B.Neighbor 

 

 

 


11/06/15 07:17 PM #5    

Richard Wehe

I wrote the following note to Steve Cuthbert's children and delivered it to them at Steve's Memorial service in January of 1991.

"I knew your dad for 14 years.  Our friendship began as 9th graders at Clairmont Junior Hi School.  I last saw him in June of 1970.  During that period we studied together in high school and college, competed together as swimmers, traveled through Europe and worked as lifeguards at Lake Temescal.

The following are some of my memories of and reflections on your dad.  As appearances go, he was bear-like; barrel-chested; large arms and thighs; slightly knock-kneed; his gate, bouncy and somewhat shuffle like with shoulders swinging; head always moving, eyes always searching (a habit he most likely picked up as a lifeguard).  In describing your dad's personality and his approach to people and life, he was idealistic; an optimist; enthusiastic; rarely bashful; and instigator; a leader; smart but not an intellectual; positive; open never greedy.  To expand on some of his traits, I offer the following;

As a competitor he would give it his all.  Your dad swam the 100-yd. butterfly and would inevitable have to be pulled out of the water at the end of the race, his energies having been totally spent.  One day I recall the swim team had a contest to se who could swim the farthest under water.  Your dad won, but in so doing passed out under the water and had to be rescued.

An idealist and as a leader.  In the summer of 1960 I traveled with your dad and 30 other students to Russia during the peak of the Cold War.  Before leaving for the trip he wrote in my yearbook that we were going as "ambassadors for peace."  We had a number of orchestrated confrontations with our Russian counterparts.  While designed to be an intellectual contest, your dad found a common ground by bring out a football and teaching our Russian friends the game.  The Cold War thawed slightly that day.

Your dad as a hero.  As a lifeguard at Lake Temescal I recall one dramatic rescue involving a young girl.  Your dad made repeated dives in 20 feet of murky water before finding and subsequently resuscitating the youg lady.  As a result, his picture and story appeared in the Tribune the next day.

In the years that followed July 3, 1972, the date your dad's plane was reported missing, I thought of him often.  That he might still be alive frequented by thoughts.  Occasionally, while walking in some distant city or running on a trail I would see the silhouette of a person approaching with a gait distinctive to your dad's and I found myself waiting expectantly for it to be him.  I know now, finally, that that will never happen.

I miss him; he was a true friend."

Dick Wehe


11/07/15 06:43 PM #6    

Bonnie Meyer

What a lovely tribute. I'm sure his children will treasure it. 

 


08/30/16 04:31 AM #7    

Charles Romine

Steve was my pal in Jr. high and High school. We were in several clubs together including Hi-Y and the Block T.

Steve and I were Christians, both of us having accepted the Lord as Savior at Mt. Hermon Church Camp before our Junior year. He was a regular attender at the United Presbyterian Church on College Avenue in North Oakland. We also got in trouble together. One night we we were able to get a fellow to buy some beer for us, at the Alcatel, and we parked near Chabot school to drink it. We did not have a bottle opener, which was required in those days, so were trying to pry off the caps with the door hardware.

That's where the police got us. We were both 17.  They took me home first to a rather unpleasant encounter with my father, then they took Steve home, where he and his father laughed and shared a few brews.

I loved Steve. He was my brother.


09/01/16 09:05 AM #8    

David Gideon

I knew Steve through grammar and high-school. He was a great guy. Very involoed in school activities and sports.

We were friends, not close, but constant for many years.

I heard he had gone in the Air Force, a bit surprising for the times, as most the people I knew were tryng to get out of the military service, but Steve stepped up in a big way, flying F4s in Vietnam.

I first learned of his d3eath here, and was saddedned.to hear of it, expecially the circumstances of his being MIA for so long. It must have been a terrible thing for his family. I'm glad he is home and at rest now.

My thanks to him for his service and sacrifice.

 

 

 

 


09/02/16 02:37 PM #9    

Tom Bruno

I met Steve in the 7th grade at Claremont Jr. High. Our friendship continued all the way through college at UC Berkeley. A great swimmer and a better man. Some of the comments are about where he is resting. His plot is in the Presidio, San Francisco. I paid tribute to him in a local 4th of July event at Incline Village, NV where I devoted a full page advertisement in his honor. I was privileged to be able to call him a friend.

Tom Bruno


09/06/16 07:55 PM #10    

Larry Baack

Reading Dick Wehe's moving tribute to Steve Cuthbert brings back many memories of our times at Chabot, Claremont and Tech, as do the comments of Dave Gideon and many others. I especially think of our special days in Grammar School. Down from Chabot there was a whole group of boys about the same age - Bill Dubois, Steve and a bunch of others. We played together a lot in the streets and sometimes at St. Alberts on their grass. It was a great time growing up with lots of friends and we had  healthy fun. Steve was a great guy and indeed a terrific swimmer and a credit to our school and country. Dick's stories about him later at Temescal where we hung out a lot as little kids, and during the trip to Russia are really special. I heard of Steve's death a long time ago but did not know all of  the details. It is important to honor his memory. Those were very difficult times, so sad and so hard on his family. I had three deployments to Vietnam and during those years my wife, Jane, taught elementary school in Coronado. The school was just outside the Main Gate of North Island Naval Air Station, the home port to at least three of the carriers that fought in the war. The neighborhood was virtually all Navy and most of the dads were naval aviators. The tours and tragedies were so hard on the famlies and the children who came to that  school. The mothers (and today spouses)had to hold it all together during those long months and afterwards as well .We should remember them too for all they did and do. Many thanks to Dick for helping us remember our classmate, Steve Cuthbert.

Larry Baack


09/11/16 08:48 PM #11    

James Letcher

I was also a class mate Claremont  to Tech.  I came to Claremont from Washington Elementary.  We move to the Ayala area just as school start.  I'll pray for the famiky. Jim,


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