Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seven Years in Hell

As a POW held captive by the North Vietnamese, Denton was used as a propaganda tool. In 1966, a television interview was conducted, in which it was expected that he would condemn the U.S. policy in Vietnam. Prior to the interview he was tortured in an effort to guarantee a favorable response.

The interview was conducted by Wilfred Birchett, a well-known Communist author. During the interview, Denton was asked by a Japanese reporter if he agreed with U.S. policy. His response: "I don't know what is happening now in Vietnam. because the only news sources I have are North Vietnamese, but whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live."  This was NOT the anticipated reponse.

 The interivew was aired on ABC television in May of 1966 after being sneaked out of Vietnam by a Japanese journalist.  During the interview it was revealed that Denton was using Morse Code by blinking his eyes to signal the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E.

Denton's punishment for this interview included all night two-hour torture sessions, which even brought some of his captors to tears.

On February 12, 1973,  Denton was released. He acted as spokesman for the first group of POW's returning from Hanoi to Clark Air Force Base in the Phillippines. His comments upon arriving safely: "We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America."

Denton later released a book about his years as a POW.

In April of 1973 he was promoted to Rear Admiral. He served as the Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, until his retirement in 1977.

But there is still more to the story.....


  1. War is a touchy issue, because it hurts whichever way we look at it, which ever side we are at. But the world keeps moving through big wars and little wars in earnest hope of a better future.. ~bangchik