A GOOD AGE: The Stratton incident becomes the Stratton way (Richard Stratton)

News stories about the Vietnam conflict were a daily staple in the spring of 1968 when I joined The Patriot Ledger as a copy reader on the news desk. I soon learned that the year before a Quincy native, Lt. Cmdr. Richard Stratton, had been captured after he was forced to eject from his Skyhawk fighter-bomber and was being held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He was in the “Hanoi Hilton,” the same prison camp where the late Sen. John McCain was held.

There was grave concern for the hometown Navy aviator. After his capture on Jan. 5 1967, he had been photographed that April in striped prison garb at a North Vietnamese “press conference” bowing to his captors. He appeared to have been beaten and allegedly confessed to war crimes. The photo ran in Life magazine April 7, 1967 and it became an international news story, one of the most famous images of the war.

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