‘Hanoi Hilton’ survivor Murphy Neal Jones; endured 6.5 years as prisoner of war

Murphy Neal Jones Sr., a Baton Rouge native who endured more than 6½ years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam’s infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” died Thursday in Delaware. He was 81.

A football star at Baton Rouge High School who went on to play at Tulane University, Jones was a pilot when his Air Force F105-D fighter-bomber was struck by antiaircraft fire on June 29, 1966. Losing his battle to keep the jet airborne, Jones ejected only 300 feet from the ground, and his rough parachute landing left him with a shattered left arm, three fractured vertebrae, torn knee cartilage and shrapnel that infected his right leg.

Like many of his fellow POWs, who included the late Sen. John McCain, Jones was tortured often throughout his captivity. He was released in February 1973.

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