11:47 | Wayne Waddell remembers the conditions in the Hanoi Hilton and the little things that made it possible for them to keep their spirits up while imprisoned and the circumstances that brought them home.
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Wayne Waddell recounts his early life and the circumstances that led to his joining the Air Force.
Wayne Waddell recalls his first encounters flying in Vietnam and getting acquainted with taking many missions.
Wayne Waddell describes the circumstances in Thailand & Vietnam that led to his capture by the Chinese Liberation Army.
Wayne Waddell recounts some of the conditions he had to go through in the prison camps and the time that he was recorded by East German filmmakers and later identified by his family so that they knew he was a POW.
Wayne Waddell tells of the comrade he shared a prison cell with and the relationship that is formed in close quarters like that and the small things that happen that keep your spirits up.
Wayne Waddell remembers one of the tactics that his Vietnamese captors used to extract information from them and the extreme toll it took on some of the soldiers.
Wayne Waddell details the communication process that they had in the camp and the various things they could utilize to keep themselves sane.
Wayne Waddell speaks to the nature of the relationship between the American prisoners and the Viet guards.
Wayne Waddell remembers the "Dog Patch", an area where they spent a portion of their time imprisoned.
Wayne Waddell remembers the plane ride home to the States after all the years in the prison camp and all the adjustments he had to make in returning home.
Wayne Waddell remembers all the things that changed in the States over the 6 years he was gone.
Wayne Waddell remembers his Air Force career after his time in the prison camp.
Wayne Waddell remembers a few of his captors that he forged a small relationship with and wishes to reconnect with after his time in the camp.
Wayne Waddell gives his advice for future generations as they try to navigate future global conflicts.
With great difficulty, Sardo Sanchez recounts critical events that prove both devastating and fortunate. After taking the life of a VC soldier, he is hit by a sniper and told he may never walk again. In a state of shock, he narrowly avoids a fatal miscalculation.
Under heavy fire, choppers attempt to evacuate wounded GIs from Kontum. After one fatal crash, a dustoff chopper manages to lift Ernest Banasau to safety. Years later, Banasau meets the pilot who saved him, and learns how close he came to meeting a tragic fate. Part 2 of 2
McMahon becomes part of the Combined Action Program (CAP), working with Vietnamese militia to protect villages from Viet Cong thugs. On one occasion, the village is spared from enemy attack by an army artillery unit acting without orders. He and the villagers develop a bond that would last for decades.
He made Buck Sergeant about the time he figured out that he and his buddies were basically fighting for each other and for no other reason. They were taking a large bunker complex and when two others were under fire, he went out to get them. After the fight was over, he was disturbed to learn what his superiors intended to do about the enemy base.
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.
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.
Growing up in Philadelphia to single mother, James Holmes was raised to work hard during his entire upbringing. Being an athlete all of high school, he decided to join the Army at age 17, trained and shipped off to Germany.
Dealing with the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, they had to adapt to combating the many tactics of the enemy forces. The guerilla tactics of the VC in addition to the well-trained and equipped NVA was a great danger to American forces in Vietnam.
James Holmes remembers one particular hairy encounter from Vietnam that they managed to get out of with minimal casualties. On the final day, the NVA attempted a final push to get out of the village and the company had to push back on the attack.
Paul Hart remembers his time in flight training at Fort Rucker before his deployment to Vietnam. After landing in Bien Hoa and getting processed, he was sent to the 1st Cavalry Division which was based out of An Khe. Paul was assigned to support the men on the ground as they patrolled the hills and valleys of Vietnam.
Paul Hart remembers growing up with some military influence in his family when he got his notice to report for a physical. He remembers not really knowing much about the conflict in Vietnam during the time of his joining.
James Holmes remembers shipping off to Vietnam just before his 21st birthday. Since he had 4 years military experience, his leadership was essential to the success of their unit while stationed over there.
Returning home from Vietnam, James Holmes and other Vietnam vets had a lot to get used to about civilian life. James took great strides to take care of himself after his time and the service, and he reflects on the Vietnam conflict and the miscommunication between Washington D.C. and the men on the ground.
In 1967, General Westmoreland called for more troops in Vietnam, which President Johnson later approved. Grady Birdsong and his battalion were called into Hue City in 1968 to run support on the canal areas near the citadel.
Paul Hart remembers two of his good friends from flight school, Ralph and Wylie. Helicopter pilots had a high risk of injury and death, but even decades later, Paul remembers these men and what happened to them both during and after Vietnam.
Returning home, Grady Birdsong remembers not telling people he was a veteran and having to watch the war be lost on national TV. Being treated with disrespect after all he had been through was a very upsetting thing to have to go through.