Ex-POW tells story of living in Vietnamese prison camp (William Gauntt)

During his time as a prisoner of war, Lt. Col. William “Bill” Gauntt remembers a Vietnamese soldier pressing a .45 pistol against his forehead and pulling the trigger.

“I remember hearing the spring as it was being stretched and then pop,” he said. “On an empty chamber fortunately.”

Gauntt told the story of his captivity to a crowd of soldiers and civilians on Friday at the Smokehaus at Sportsman’s Lodge in Fort Campbell as part of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

“I feared for my life a couple times,” he said. “But at other times it was no worse treatment my two brothers and I experienced raised on a farm in Texas.”

The Air Force veteran was flying an RF-4C, an unarmed variant of the F-4 Phantom II designed for reconnaissance, when he was forced to eject over North Vietnam. He was captured on Aug. 13, 1972, the day after his wife graduated college.

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