Of the eleven men who were in Alcatraz, the most notorious Hanoi POW camp, only four remain with the death of Jeremiah (Jerry) A. Denton Jr., RADM USN Ret and former Senator. He actually died March 28th in the Norfolk area, but due to the busy schedule at Arlington, he was finally laid to rest on Tuesday July the 21st. Approved or not, the Navy did send two F/A-18s up from Norfolk for the flyover, but they were too high by the time they went over the office for me to see which squadron they were. From what I understand, there was quite a turnout for him, and a well deserved one.
Shot down in 1965 while flying an A-6 Intruder and badly injured, he was a POW for seven years and seven months. He was also the one that blinked in Morse Code T O R T U R E in the infamous television interview.
I was honored to meet him a number of years ago at a function in Pensacola, and he always said he survived through his faith in God, the USA, his family, and the Navy. He was considered by all who knew him to be a patriot’s patriot, and one that truly NEVER gave up. He wrote When Hell is in Session in 1976, and it was considered then (and probably still is) one of the definitive books on POW life in Vietnam. You can find it HERE.
Captain Denton was the first officer off the first C-141 from Hanoi in 1973. That video is HERE. Captain Denton is at 3:03 into the video.
Thank you for the example you set for us with your sacrifices….
RIP RADM Denton, you deserve it.