Wilmer Newlin Grubb
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force
Name: WILMER NEWLIN GRUBB
Date of Birth: 8/14/1932
Date of Casualty: 1/26/1966
Home of Record: ALDAN, PENNSYLVNIA
Branch of Service: AIR FORCE
Casualty Country: NORTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: NZ
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or moreof the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK May 1997REMARKS:740313 REMS RETD
On January 26, 1966, Captain Newk Grubb was the pilot of an RF101C Voodoo reconnaissance aircraft sent on an unarmed photo reconnaissance mission over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. The flight occurred during a Christmas bombing halt. As Grubb's aircraft was about twenty miles southwest of the city of Quang Khe, it experienced difficulty in gaining altitude and crashed into a hillside.
The next day the communist New China News Agency began publicizing the capture of Newk Grubb, followed closely by the Hanoi propaganda machine. Hanoi conveniently obscured the true (unarmed photo reconnaissance) nature of Grubb's mission. On February 3, Radio Hanoi broadcast a statement attributed to him. On February 7, there was another broadcast, this time in Grubb's voice. Beginning on February 10, photographs of him appeared in communist countries around the world. He appeared health except for a wound in the leg.
But four years later, Hanoi announced that he died nine days after capture, "as a result of injuries in crash" -- before the pictures were published anywhere.
Evelyn Grubb wrote her husband often, usually stapling a photo of their four sons to the letter. Newk Grubb had never seen their youngest son, who was born about 6 months after his shootdown. But she never received any reply at all. In 1973, when 591 Americans were released from POW camps in Hanoi, Grubb was not among them. A year later, the Vietnamese returned his remains, saying he had died in captivity as a result of wounds received in the crash. The U.S. gratefully accepted the remains without question. Some ninety Americans were acknowledged by the Vietnamese to have died in captivity, yet all their remains have not been returned. Others were known prisoners, but the Vietnamese deny knowledge of them. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government, yet it maintains there is not sufficient proof to act. Wilmer Grubb was killed in captivity. That alone is sufficient proof to act, yet we have done nothing to hold the Vietnamese accountable for their atrocities.
Many authorities who have reviewed the largely-classified information received by the government are convinced that Americans are still being held alive today. But we do nothing to free them. Newk Grubb was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained Prisoner of War.
From: William H. Talley
I would like to share some info about Newlin
(Newk) Grubb. I was in TAC Recce from 1957-62 flying the RF-84 &
RF-101 and at Laon AB, France from 1959-62. Newk came to Laon about a year
before I left Recce for Air Tng. Command. Newk rotated back to Shaw AFB
at the end of his tour. Newk was one of several recce pilots that
went TDY to SEA to fly missions up North in the 1965-66 time frame.
I flew my T-38 (fighter) to Shaw one Friday to talk combat experience with
some of my buddies who had been there. Our recon missions had always been
low level in the target area. We usually flew at some multiple of
60 knots (480, 540) to make drawing minute tic marks on the map lines easier.
While talking to Newk about tactics, I asked him how fast he flew in the
target area. He gave me an odd number like 560 or 570. When
I asked him why that speed, Newk replied "Because it won't go any faster."
I see Evelyn Grubb every year at the Voodoo Reunions.
Evelyn Grubb's life changed forever Jan. 26, 1966, when her husband's plane was shot down over North Vietnam. From the moment Air Force Capt. Wilmer Newlin Grubb was seen in a photo as a prisoner of war, his wife began pressuring those in Washington for more information, communication and attention to the needs of families of POWs and MIAs. Evelyn "Evie" Grubb died Wednesday of cancer at her Melbourne home. She was 74.
A native of Pittsburgh, Grubb moved to Melbourne in 1977. Her activism in the POW/MIA movement prompted changes that led to better communication and pressure on foreign governments to return remains of fallen soldiers and release prisoners of war. "She absolutely helped thousands of wives, children and missing men to this day," said Grubb's son Jeffrey. Karen McManus of the National League of Families of POW and MIA in Washington agreed.
"Her efforts are still showing, because we are still getting remains sent back to this country and identifications of American servicemen are still being made," she said.
Shortly after her husband disappeared, a photo of him as a captive was published in many newspapers throughout the country. But her calls to Washington for information went unheeded. Grubb contacted other wives facing similar situations. They formed the League of Wives of POWs and then later the League of Families of POWs. A few years later, the organization became national. Grubb served as National Coordinator for the National League of Families of POW and MIA in Washington from 1971 to 1972 and continued on its board of directors through 1974. She was also instrumental in the adoption of the "You are not Forgotten" POW/MIA flag. It is the only flag other than "Old Glory" that flies over the White House.
"She was just an amazing, amazing woman," said Carol Jose, a friend of Grubb and local author who spent the last three years writing Grubb's life story. "She had quite the adventure." Grubb's involvement with the League won her audiences with President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, President George H.W. Bush and Kurt Waldheim, among other dignitaries. She also traveled to Europe to lobby the International Red Cross to pressure North Vietnam into releasing the lists of POWs it was holding. Grubb's oldest son, 49-year-old Jeffrey, said his mother's transformation was incredible.
"She went from being a stay-at-home mom who was growing increasingly frustrated over the lack of publicity about POWs to becoming a dynamo who headed a national organization and had regular meetings with presidents and heads of state," he said. He said his mother would meet with anyone willing to listen and help.
"She even met the leader of the Hell's Angels one time because she felt he could help spread the word about POWs," he said."
Grubb had to wait eight years to learn her
husband was killed in captivity shortly after his capture. While the North
Vietnamese claimed he died from injures suffered while being shot down,
Evelyn believed he was probably tortured to death. "She always felt that
he was tortured to death for information," Jose said. Grubb is survived
by four sons: Jeffrey, Roland, Van and Roy and several grandchildren.
MELBOURNE, Florida - Evelyn Fowler Grubb, who worked to gain recognition for prisoners of war after her Air Force pilot husband was shot down and captured in North Vietnam in 1966, has died at age 74.
She died December 28, 2005, of breast cancer at her home, her family said.
She initially got little information from federal officials after Air Force Captain Wilmer Newlin "Newk" Grubb disappeared. So she contacted other wives facing similar situations. They formed groups that eventually became the National League of POW/MIA Families.
As its national coordinator in Washington in 1971 and 1972, she played a part in creating the league's "You Are Not Forgotten" black-and-white flag.
Grubb's oldest son, 49-year-old Jeffrey, said his mother's transformation was incredible.
"She went from being a stay-at-home mom who was growing increasingly frustrated over the lack of publicity about POWs to becoming a dynamo who headed a national organization and had regular meetings with presidents and heads of state," he said.
Her husband's photograph was released by his captors as an example of "humane" treatment of American prisoners of war, and Grubb spent years hoping to be reunited with her husband.
Grubb had to wait eight years to learn her husband was killed in captivity shortly after his capture. While the North Vietnamese claimed he died from injures suffered while being shot down, Evelyn believed he was probably tortured to death.
Grubb and her organization also urged that the bodies of prisoners who died in captivity be returned to their families. Her husband's remains were finally returned to the United States in 1974 and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
A native of Pittsburgh, Grubb moved to Melbourne in 1977. She recently completed work on a book with writer Carol Jose about her experiences with the League of Families.
Grubb is survived by four sons and several
GRUBB, EVELYN F
Posted: 2 January 2006 Updated: 12 January 2008