This page is the official home page of the Vietnam era Prisoners of War (1961-1973).
It contains statistics and items of interest concerning Americans and foreign nationals held captive in North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China, names of the returnees, and various other directory information - including email addresses - where those men authorized publication. The only known graphic evidence of our captivity comes from the Naval Institute Press's Prisoner of War by John M. McGrath, a retired Navy Captain and now retired from United Airlines. A sample of McGrath's work appears below. Nam-POWs expresses special thanks to The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats) for supporting and hosting this page! That august group supported us in our captivity and each of them could have shared a cell with us in the Hanoi Hilton. All Nam-POWs were made Life Members of the River Rats upon our return.
June 8, 2002
NAM-POWs Corporation is a non-profit 501c (19) veterans organization chartered by the State of Arizona in 1973. NAM-POWs came into existence through a need for the 801 returning Prisoners of War repatriated from the Southeast Asia conflict to organize in such a way that they could continue to build upon their bonds of friendship and camaraderie developed over years of privation and inhumane treatment experienced while in the prison camps of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.
NAM-POWs is dedicated to the principles of patriotic allegiance to the United States of America, fidelity to its Constitution and laws, the security of civil liberty, and the perpetuation of free institutions. Our objectives are to cherish the memories of the valiant deeds of our members; to promote true fellowship among our members; to advance the best interests of members of the Armed Forces of the United States and to enhance their prestige and understanding by example and personal activity; to stimulate patriotism and national pride in the minds of our youth.
Any person of good moral character who was a POW in Southeast Asia during the period 1961-1973 is eligible for membership.
Our first NAM-POW President was Medal of Honor recipient Colonel George "Bud" Day, USAF (Ret). He has been joined by 540 active members, which include other distinguished Medal of Honor recipients: Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret), Colonel Leo Thorsness, USAF (Ret), and MSGT Jon Cavaiani, USA (Ret). Four other POWs, Capt. Rocky Versace, USA, Capt. Lance Sijan, USAF , Army E-3 William D. Port and Col. Donald G. Cook, USMC received the Medal of Honor posthumously. See below for more about the Medal of Honor recipients. Our ranks are replete with honorable men who are continuing to serve their country with the same dedication and fervor that were displayed by their comrades confined in the infamous prisons of Southeast Asia-like retired Navy Rear Admiral and former Senator of Alabama, the Honorable Jeremiah Denton, Senator John McCain of Arizona and Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas. The Honorable Douglas Peterson, former Congressman from Florida, recently completed his assignment as the first Ambassador to Vietnam in 25 y ears. Others, such as Colonel Ben Purcell, USA (Ret) and Colonel Leo Thorsness, USAF (Ret) have served in State Legislatures.
Of the 802 Southeast Asia POWs (661 military, 141 civilians/foreign nationals), 472 were tortured and imprisoned in North Vietnam, some longer than eight years, 263 in the South Vietnam jungle POW camps for as long as nine years, 31 in Laos, 31 in Cambodia and 5 in China (two of whom were held for over 19 years under sub-human conditions). We are one of the strongest fraternal organizations that exists in the world today. We are bonded together, not by rank or service, but by the deep knowledge and faith that we are one unit - one entity that the enemy could not destroy. We held our heads high with pride as we served our nation as Prisoners of War. We accomplished our sworn goal...
The seal of the 4th Allied POW Wing, created by the Air Force Office of Heraldry in 1973, depicts the colors of the United States and the Republic of Vietnam as well as the chained eagle, emblematic of the fighting men who were captured. Pilots and their aircrews were captured mostly in NVN and China while ground troops and civilians were captured in SVN, Laos and Cambodia.. The number "4th" was chosen by Wing Commander (and senior POW held in North Vietnam) Lieutenant General John Peter Flynn, USAF. Vietnam was the fourth conflict in which Americans were held overseas. Captives from the IRAQ Gulf War have recently formed the 5th Allied POW Wing, but they are not members of our group.
Eight Nam-POWs received the Medal of Honor: VADM Jim Stockdale, USN; Col. Bud Day, USAF; Col. Don Cook, USMC (Posthumously); Capt. Lance Sijan, USAF (Posthumously); Capt. Rocky Versace (Posthumously) for action above and beyond the call of duty as POWs and Col. Leo Thorsness, USAF, SGM Jon Cavaiani, USA and SGT William Port, USA for heroism prior to their being captured. Click here to go to their page
*** During the flyover of a military "Missing Man" formation, aircraft #3 pulls abruptly out of the formation to signify the "missing man." This page is the page of the POWs who returned. "Three" is back in the formation. Hence, "Three's In"!!
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|President||Lt. Col. Tom Hanton, USAF (Ret)||NamPow-Board@att.net|
|Secretary-Treasurer (Acting)||Col. Mike Lane, USAF (Ret)||mikeruth.lane@GMAIL.COM|
|Past President||CDR Al Agnew, USN (Ret)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Director & Historian||Capt. Mike McGrath, USN (Ret)||email@example.com|
|Director& Reunion Coordinator||Col. Ken Cordier, USAF (Ret)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Director & Webmaster||CDR Paul Galanti, USN (Ret)||email@example.com|
|VA Nat'l Service Officer||Capt. Doug Burns, USN (Ret)||dougburns1@COX.NET|
|VA HQ Liaison||Col. Tom McNish, M.D., USAF (Ret)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|POW Net Listserv||Lt. Col. Dave Ford, USAF (Ret)||email@example.com|