Arvin  R.  Chauncey  
  Rank, Service
Captain O-6,  U.S. Navy
  Veteran of:
U.S. Navy 1955-1986
Cold War 1955-1986
Vietnam War 1967-1973 (POW)

Arv Chauncey was born in 1935 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet Training program on October 1, 1955, and was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator in March 1957. His first assignment was as an AD-5W Skyraider Airborne Early Warning (AEW) pilot with ATG-1 Detachment H (later redesignated VAW-11) at NAS Noris, California, from April 1957 to May 1961, followed by service as an Air Intercept Control Instructor at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center at Point Loma, California, from June 1961 to February 1963. LT Chauncey next attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California, from March 1963 to March 1965, and then completed Jet Instrument training in the TF-9J Cougar with VA-44 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, in May 1965. He then went through A-4 Skyhawk Replacement Air Group training with VA-44 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, from May to August 1965, followed by service as an A-4 Skyhawk pilot with VA-66 at NAS Cecil Field from August 1965 to September 1966. LCDR Chauncey joined VA-212 at NAS Lemoore, California, in October 1966, and deployed to Southeast Asia with the squadron aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in January 1967. He began flying combat missions in February 1967, and was forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War while flying his 57th combat mission on May 31, 1967. After spending 2,105 days in captivity, CDR Chauncey was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, and then attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School from December 1973 to July 1974. He next attended San Diego State University where he earned his Master of Arts Degree in American History in August 1975. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of VA-127 at NAS Lemoore from October 1975 to December 1976, followed by service on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command, at Camp Smith, Hawaii, from January 1977 to July 1980. Capt Chauncey attended Assistant Chief of Staff training at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, from August 1980 to March 1981, and then served as Commander of Training Air Wing 3 at NAS Chase Field, Texas, from March 1981 to July 1983. His final assignment was as Commanding Officer of the Navy ROTC unit at the University of Minnesota from August 1983 until his retirement from the Navy on July 1, 1986. After retiring from the Navy, Arv worked for Northwest Airlines as Manager, Aircrew Training on the Boeing 747-400 until he retired in 1997. Arv Chauncey is married and has four sons.

His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity during an extremely daring escape from a prisoner-of-war stockade on 31 May 1967. Upon being shot down and captured near Kep, North Vietnam, he was taken to a series of Chinese manned gun sites and threatened. In the evening, he was turned over to Vietnamese militia with his arms bound, and continually suffered severe treatment throughout the night. Awaiting the most propitious moment, he escaped into a heavy rainstorm and continued to run in the brush evading and outdistancing his captors. After the rainstorm diminished, his captors formed a hand-to-hand search line and discovered him several hours later, at about daybreak. His distinctive act of heroism in risking his life in this daring escape is an inspiration to future American fighting men. Through his exceptional courage, determination, and inspired fighting spirit, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.


Arv Chauncey in his A-4C Skyhawk with VA-66 at Cecil Field, Florida, circa 1966.



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