Guy D. Gruters, Captain, USAF
in North Vietnam, December, 1967 to March, 1973 : 5
years, 3 months
Guy Gruters was raised in New Jersey, where his favorite interests were camping, hunting and trapping. He graduated from the Air Force Academy with a BS in Engineering Science and received a Masters Degree in Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. After Pilot Training and fighter gunnery school, he volunteered for Vietnam and served six years in Vietnam, more than five as a POW. He completed more than 400 combat missions as a FAC, first for the 173rd Airborne Brigade flying O-1 aircraft and then flying F-100s for the MISTY Fast FACS flying over North Vietnam. His awards include two Silver Stars, two DFCs, two purple hearts, a bronze star for valor, a Presidential Unit citation, a Distinguished Unit citation, 20 air medals and numerous other medals. He was shot down twice and captured the second time, on December 20, 1967.
Lance Sijan had been shot down in early November and
was still in the jungle. Lance evaded capture for forty-six days. He was
finally captured on Christmas day of 1967 and moved into a small holding prison
with Guy and Major Bob Craner shortly thereafter. The
three of them made the trip north to the Hanoi Hilton in the back of a military
truck. Guy and Bob were with Lance until his last-minute removal to a hospital
and death in late January, 1968. After release in
March of 1973, their testimony was the basis for
the award of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Lance. Guy also
collaborated closely with Malcolm McConnell of the Reader's Digest in his book
"Into the Mouth of the Cat," a story about one man's struggle to
successfully resist all interrogation despite terrible physical injuries.
have been two additional books written with stories about Guy, “Bury Us Upside
Down,” by Rick Newman and Don Shepperd, and “Misty,”
by Major General Don Shepperd, USAF (Ret.).
Guy joined Eastern Airlines as a pilot, flying DC-9s and Boeing 727s, and retired as a Captain in 1991. During this time, Guy and Sandy were blessed with seven children, two before Vietnam and five after. Guy also was a very successful international account representative for the IBM corporation, handling GTE Sylvania, a three billion dollar company. He left IBM with his brother and was president of PC Software Systems for more than ten years, building it into IBM's leading supplier of application software for Accountants and Independent Insurance agents. Upon retiring from Eastern, Guy took the position of Director of Data Processing for Pearl Vision in Dallas and then VP-MIS for McCrory Corporation in Pennsylvania, both billion dollar corporations.
Guy was asked to leave the corporate world by his brother, Peter, in Ohio. Guy currently works there with his brother as a writer/editor and professional speaker about the POW experience. Peter is an author of many books that have been well received.
The goal they are working for is to strengthen families by facilitating their return to traditional living in the countryside.