Vietnam POW and Michigan native Donald ‘Digger’ Odell

Donald E. “Digger” Odell, an Air Force fighter pilot who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years after being shot down in 1967, died Thursday in Michigan. He was 86.

“Lt. Col. Odell was an American hero and inspiration to several generation of Airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, commander of the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. “He was always a friend to those who wear our nation’s uniform.”

Odell made Mount Clements his home in his native Michigan after retiring from the Air Force. He went on serve for 12 years as a Selfridge Air Base civilian public affairs officer.

EX-INDIANA GOV. KERNAN, WHO WAS A VIETNAM POW, DIES AT 74

Odell enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and earned his commission and wings as a pilot in 1955, He was on his 17th mission in the war when he was shot down near Hanoi.

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