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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership

Welcome to the POW Challenge

 

Click the Stockdale logo learn about how to "Play" the POW Challenge, a walking tour of the Naval Academy Yard, as you learn about the life and times of the POWs held captive during the Vietnam War, and their Families at Home.

The Stockdale Legacy

James Bond "Jim" Stockdale was a United States Navy Vice Admiral and aviator, awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, during which he was a prisoner of war for over seven years.

Stockdale was the most senior naval officer held captive in Hanoi, North Vietnam. He had led aerial attacks from the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. On his next deployment, while commander of Carrier Air Wing Sixteen aboard the carrier USS Oriskany (CV-34), his A-4 Skyhawk jet was shot down in North Vietnam on September 9, 1965. 

What is the significance of Operation Homecoming? 


Operation Homecoming was the return of 591 American prisoners of war (POWs) held by North Vietnam following the Paris Peace Accords that ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 

 

Shoot Down Story: LtJg George Coker

LtJg Coker's 55th bombing mission, he and his pilot, LCDR John "Jack" Fellowes, were shot down over North Vietnam on August 27, 1966, while flying near Vinh in Nghệ An Province. The aircraft's right wing was blown off, and the two crewmembers ejected from the aircraft. Ejection was at about 2,000 feet (610 m) altitude and 18 miles (29 km) inland in flat terrain. Coker and Fellowes landed about one mile apart. Fellowes landed on a hillside and Coker in a large rice paddy in a well-populated area. Both were captured by armed villagers soon after landing. He was held as a prisoner of war in the "Hanoi Hilton" and other camps for six and a half years. 
 

The Code of Conduct 


The Code of Conduct provides guidance for the behavior and actions of members of the Armed Forces of the United States. This guidance applies not only on the battlefield, but also in the event that the service member is captured and becomes a prisoner of war (POW). The Code is delineated in six articles.

 

 

Hỏa Lò Prison: The Hanoi Hilton

Hỏa Lò Prison was a prison in Hanoi originally used by the French colonists in Indochina for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. During this later period, it was known to American POWs as the "Hanoi Hilton". The prison was demolished during the 1990s, although the gatehouse remains as a museum.

The Tap Code 


The tap code is a way to encode text messages on a letter-by-letter basis by transmitting a series of tap (knock) sounds. The tap code is based on a Polybius square using a 5×5 grid of letters representing all the letters of the Latin alphabet, except for K, which is represented by C. It was commonly used by prisoners in jail to communicate with one another.

 

Articles and Media

 

Explainer
Click here to learn about how to "Play" the POW Challenge, a walking tour of the Naval Academy Yard, as you learn about the life and times of the POWs held captive during the Vietnam War, and their Families at Home.

 


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