Carl Wieland was born on November 25, 1946, in Orlando, Florida. He entered the Naval Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate Program in May 1966, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy after completing his bachelor's degree on July 15, 1968. Ens Wieland next completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1969, followed by A-7 Corsair II Replacement Air Group training with VA-174 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, from October 1969 to September 1970. He served as an A-7 pilot with VA-82 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, from September 1970 to June 1972, and then deployed to Southeast Asia aboard the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) from June 1972 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 20, 1972. After spending 100 days in captivity, LT Wieland was released during Operation Homecoming on March 29, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries, and then returned to flying status as an A-7 pilot back with VA-82 one month later, making him the first repatriated Vietnam Prisoner of War to return to operational flying status. LT Wieland left active duty on September 4, 1973, and later earned his law degree from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. He practiced industrial law with Markel, McDonough and O'Neal in Orlando, Florida, until he was murdered at a motel in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 12, 1986.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious service while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from December 1972 to March 1973. Under the most adverse of conditions, he never wavered in his devotion and loyalty to the United States and his fellow prisoners. Despite the adversities of confinement, he performed such duties and responsibilities as assigned by superiors and required of the Code of Conduct in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Displaying extraordinary courage, resourcefulness, and dedication throughout this period of imprisonment, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.