POW recalls captivity (Bradley Smith)

Navy Lt. Brad Smith was on a bombing run to destroy a bridge in North Vietnam when he was shot down in 1966.

He didn’t see what ripped into his A-4 Skyhawk, but he saw the ground approaching at 600 mph as his crippled jet nose-dived toward the ground.

Smith ejected just in time, but the violence of the lifesaving tactic knocked him out. He awoke 10 feet underwater in a river, and swam to the surface to find a boat filled with black-clad, angry enemy soldiers.

Smith’s nearly seven years as a prisoner of war had begun.

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