3:27 | Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) gives details about the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, better known as "The Hanoi Hilton," where US servicemen were kept as Prisoners Of War.
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Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) recalls the airbase at Da Nang coming under rocket fire on his first night.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) goes through the mission that led to his capture by NVA forces.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) is moved from his landing site to a small village where he meets up with his flight leader, who had also been captured.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) recalls the moment he faced death at the hands of the NVA, or so he thought.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) narrowly escapes being killed by locals when his NVA escort secretly moves him out of town.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) recalls numerous times when he and the men who captured him had to survive aerial bombing by American forces.
In a medium sized village, on the way to Hanoi, Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) witnesses a Communist Party rally and is almost done in by the frenzied communists.
Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) remembers the first interrogation he suffered at the hands of the NVA, and how remarkably frightening their first impression was.
While incarcerated at the Hanoi Hilton, Col. Lee Ellis (ret.) and his cellmates have to make a tough decision about a Marine Lt. Colonel who is cooperating with the enemy.
In a letter home, Tommy Clack expressed his worry that something bad was going to happen and it did when his unit engaged the NVA near the Cambodian border. He saw the enemy soldier stand and fire the RPG that changed his life forever.
As Marine Captain Ron Christmas fought to regain the city of Hue, he found the enemy adept at concealment and surprise. Every soldier in a spider hole was armed with a rifle and a RPG launcher. He also encountered a nun with an AK-47. His action during this time earned him the Navy Cross.
The RPG that severed Joe McDonald’s foot didn’t kill him. The machine gun fire that hit him as he still tried to help others didn’t kill him. The grenade taped to his hand might have killed him if the VC had found his hiding place.
The truck convoys in Vietnam had to keep moving even if someone broke down. That happened to Bill Patterson on the road to Quan Loi and he wondered what he was going to do with one spare and three flat tires.
To Tracy Sheils, Vietnam was not a bad thing and it had a noble purpose, stopping the spread of Communism. He had to go home in civilian clothes to avoid any trouble and it did not sit well with him. Neither does the prosecution of Americans such as Lt. William Calley.
Coming home from Vietnam was not pleasant for Albert Watson. His mother was there at the airport to meet him as he was cursed and spit on by protesters. His parents got harassing phone calls at their home. He felt he had done what was right and he made the Army a career, which helped him get over the divided situation in the country.
There was some serious weaponry in Vietnam, recalls Bill Patterson. The truck driver felt his 5 ton truck bounce into the air when a huge cannon was fired. On another occasion, as he was delivering ammunition to a base, the ground began to shake so violently he thought it was an earthquake. The men unloading the trucks went calmly about their business as if nothing was going on.
After some intense time in-country, Bob Averill and his battalion got the chance to take a brief leave to the beach for some recovery time. Following his time on Hill 174, Averill was reassigned to command a Combined Action Company, taking him away from Hotel Company and into a new area of operations.
The dangers to the truck drivers in Vietnam were mainly mines and ambushes, but their only loss was from a road accident. Driver Bill Patterson enjoyed listening to music on the Army radio station and as he listened one day to the news, he heard something that made him run to tell everyone.
After Khe Sanh, Bob Averill and his division shipped down to Cam Lo, where they faced ample NVA fire. Here, he had to take the lead on throwing a grenade into the enemy bunker, leading to a close call as he quickly retreated away from the blast.
As he returned from Vietnam and the plane was descending, the landing was aborted and the plane diverted to a different base. Bill Patterson and the rest of the men were thinking that they had survived a year of war and were now going to die back home in Georgia.
Pat Richardson had served three years and was at at college when he went back for more. His first service was as a nuclear weapons technician, which instilled a good sense of procedure and precision. This helped him tremendously in his later duty as an aviator.