Vietnam vet shares POW experiences, stories (John Murphy)

 John Murphy was about 15,000 feet in the air when his vision came back to him. He was also in free fall and still strapped to the ejector seat of the F4 E Phantom fighter-bomber that moments earlier he had been piloting on a mission over North Vietnam before the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire.

It was June 8, 1972, the second time in his service during the Vietnam War that Murphy had been shot down. This time, instead of rescue, Murphy would wind up as a prisoner war of the North Vietnamese.

He spoke about this experience Saturday at VFW Post 2399 in Mineral Wells, as part of the Ralph Ripley and Weatherford chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution Vietnam War Commemoration. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of America’s ground war in Vietnam, when in March 1965, 3,500 U.S. Marines were deployed in South Vietnam to assist against communist North Vietnamese forces. American military advisors, however, had been in country since the late 1950s, shortly after a communist insurgency ousted the French from the former French colony.

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