Part III: Deadly For­re­stal Fire and Com­mie con­quests

The Dundalk Eagle - - OBITUARIES -

Re­calls one bi­o­graph­i­cal source, “In 1958, John S. McCain III left An­napo­lis as an en­sign, and went on to win his pi­lot’s wings at Pen­sacola, FL/USA.

“He served as a Navy flier in the Caribbean dur­ing the 1962 Cuban Mis­sile Cri­sis, his first mis­sion over North Viet­nam be­ing in mid-1967,” when the cur­rent writer was also there.

Later — af­ter hav­ing both sur­vived and re­turned home from his five-and-ahalf year cap­tiv­ity at Hanoi as a POW — McCain told US News & World Re­port mag­a­zine about the peo­ple of North Viet­nam and their re­ac­tions to his re­turn as a U.S. Se­na­tor, as well as his to them thus:

“They still” (in 1985) “stick to this myth that the pris­on­ers were well treated! I didn’t see any of my cap­tors or guards. I hold no an­i­mos­ity to­ward the Viet­namese peo­ple, be­cause I have hun­dreds of friends who fought on the side the South.”

“But if I had seen one of my for­mer cap­tors, I’m afraid that might’ve been a bit more of a trial that I would like to have ex­pe­ri­enced!”

“The Viet­namese peo­ple whom I talked to — al­ways through an in­ter­preter — seemed to har­bor lit­tle or no an­i­mos­ity to­wards me.”

“In fact, they ex­pressed a great deal of cu­rios­ity — and per­haps even plea­sure — that I was there!”

“There was one in­ter­est­ing episode at a mon­u­ment to my cap­ture built by the lake in down­town Hanoi, the lake I parachuted into and was pulled out of on Oct. 26, 1967.”

“I still don’t un­der­stand why they built this mon­u­ment! They even have the wrong branch of ser­vice — Air Force, in­stead of Navy.”

“Any­way,” (the late Amer­i­can TV broad­caster) Walter Cronkite and I and a film crew went down there one day to the statue. A very large crowd of Viet­namese gath­ered, all point­ing to me and re­peat­ing my name--‘Mah­cain, Mah­cain.’ It was per­haps the only time that some­one was more rec­og­nized than Walter Cronkite!”

His be­ing shot down over Hanoi was pre­saged — in an eerie sense — by the ap­pear­ance on Oct. 2, 1967


U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr. Jay Coupe (left, cen­ter) of the Philadel­phia, PA/USA Public Af­fairs Of­fice of the Re­cep­tion Sup­port Team, es­corts Lt. Cdr. John McCain (right, cen­ter) to a wait­ing US Air Force C-141 A Cargo Trans­port air­craft at Gia Lam Air­port, Hanoi, North Viet­nam on March 14, 1973 as the lat­ter was re­leased as a POW.

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