Leo Thorsness, dec­o­rated POW in Viet­nam with McCain, dies

Cape Breton Post - - In Memoriam -

Re­tired Air Force Col. Leo K. Thorsness, a highly dec­o­rated war hero who was cell­mates with U.S. Sen. John McCain in a Viet­namese pris­oner camp, has died at age 85.

The Con­gres­sional Medal of Honor So­ci­ety says he died Tues­day. The cause wasn’t dis­closed.

Thorsness en­listed in the mil­i­tary in 1951. The pi­lot was shot down dur­ing the Viet­nam War and was a pris­oner of war for six years in a camp dubbed the “Hanoi Hil­ton.’’

He was awarded the mil­i­tary’s high­est award for val­our, the Medal of Honor.

The Min­nesota na­tive met his wife after en­rolling at South Dakota State Univer­sity in 1950. He was South Dakota’s Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for U.S. Se­nate in 1974, los­ing to in­cum­bent Demo­crat Ge­orge McGovern.

He was a leg­is­la­tor in Wash­ing­ton state and later moved to Florida.

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