Tortured in notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton,’ 11 GIs were unbreakable

On September 9, 1965, Navy Cmdr. James Bond Stockdale was flying his A-4 Skyhawk on a mission over North Vietnam, just days after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, when his plane took fire and hurtled down. Forced to eject with seconds to spare, he landed with severe injuries: his left leg bent sideways by 60 degrees and his kneecap smashed; his left shoulder dislocated, rendering his arm useless; his back, he thought, likely was broken.

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