On a crisp afternoon in August of 1964, Everett Alvarez Jr. found himself floating in the emerald waters of Hạ Long Bay, North Vietnam, having just ejected from his flaming A-4 Skyhawk aircraft. He was about to be captured by hostile militia, becoming the first American POW in the Vietnam War.
While President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration escalated aerial bombing attacks in the North, in support of the South Vietnamese, it was said that a war had not "officially" been declared; from Everett's perspective, the so-called "conflict" was about to become all-too official...
This part of our story focuses on Everett's first year in captivity, a time during which he was deemed a "criminal" instead of a "prisoner of war." As the North Vietnamese figured out what to do with him and other captives, ignoring the safeguarding Geneva Conventions, Everett was imprisoned in the Hỏa Lò prison (later known to the American POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton”) and horribly mistreated.
Hear how Everett coped with horrific conditions and solitude in the face of the unknown, and how his sense of duty & honor was tested when faced with the opportunity for early-release.
For more info and photos specific to this episode, visit www.capturedpodcast.com.
If you're interested in learning more about Vietnam POWs, you can visit the new exhibit "CAPTURED" at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA.
This series is produced by Steph Weaver-Weinberg. Original music compositions, foley effects, and mastering from Jonathan Rock. Research, background, and history from Jason Schwartz. Executive production from Joe Lopez and the team at Richard Nixon Foundation and Kali Mason from Perot Family Collections. Co-executive production, interviewing, hosting by Tyler Russell McCusker.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices