by Clay Herrmann
1962 Air Force Academy graduate and CH-3C “Jolly Green” pilot, Captain Jerry Singleton, had only been in Southeast Asia a month when his search, rescue, and recovery craft was shot down in North Vietnam. He had been assigned to the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron based at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, and was on an Air Force rescue mission when the helicopter he was piloting burst into flames. (Air Force Search & Rescue motto is “So Others May Live”). That was November 6, 1965.
Landing in a tree with third degree burns, he evaded apprehension without consuming food or water for 5 days before being captured and incarcerated in the infamous Hao Lo Prison (the “Hanoi Hilton”). He survived prolonged “punishments” and sparse food and water barely adequate to sustain life for seven years, three months, and one day before being finally released by his communist captors on February 12, 1973.
Read his bio on http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/s/s102.htm.
Click on this sentence for an article about Singleton, being sent over a thousand POW bracelets (so far since his return) engraved with his name & date shot down. The bracelets were worn by U.S. citizens to keep awareness of the POW’s plight alive.