Ronald J. Webb was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on January 22, 1960, through the Air Force ROTC program while he attended Indiana University. He would serve five years in the Air Force as a navigator, before an opportunity allowed him to earn his pilot wings in June 1966. Webb served as an F-4 pilot with the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron at DaNang AB, South Vietnam beginning in March 1967. On his 44th mission over Vietnam, Webb was involved in a freak mid-air collision and was forced to eject over North Vietnam. On June 11, 1967 Webb was taken as a Prisoner of war and would spend the next 2,094 days in captivity. For nearly six years he would survive interrogations, physical abuse, and malnutrition at Hỏa Lò Prison, known to American POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton”. Major Webb would finally be released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973.
Captured and at the mercy of an increasingly cruel enemy, German-born US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler was left with no choice but to attempt a daring escape from the Pathet Lao prison camp in which he was being held during the Vietnam War. The fateful decision was made only after he and six other POWs had overheard plans to get rid of them as soon as the guards ran out of food. Dieter would choose