Ex-POW that Jerry West honored featured in PS Air Museum (Robert Barnett)

The Palm Springs Air Museum’s collection of Vietnam-era POW/MIA bracelets has steadily grown since the first bracelet — bearing the name of U.S. Air Force Col. Norman Schmidt — was donated in late February.

There are now close to 50 of these bracelets on display at the air museum, thanks to some recent donations, including a copper bracelet inscribed with the name of Lt. Cdr. John McCain, a Navy veteran who now serves as a U.S. Senator from Arizona.

Donald Barnett, of Palm Desert, recently stopped by the air museum to donate a bracelet he wore in honor of his brother, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Robert Barnett.

Robert Barnett, 86, of Tucson — a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot flying out of Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand — spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War.

Robert, who was flying with the 469th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing when he was shot down, detailed his experiences during an interview with The Desert Sun.

“I was flying an F-105 Thunderchief,” he said. “I was on my 43rd mission, we were bombing just north of Hanoi. It was a pontoon bridge that I bombed on my sixth mission.”

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