Larry Spencer was born and raised in Earlham, Iowa. He joined the Navy in 1963 and became an F-4 Phantom backseater. He was over the Gulf of Tonkin on February 18, 1966 when his plane was shot down. Larry spent the next 7 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. This story explains how he endured the uncertainty of his situation by keeping a positive attitude and above all, his faith.
Commander George Coker was one of the “Alcatraz 11,” a group considered by the North Vietnamese to be the resistance leadership, even though he was a junior officer. The Alcatraz 11 were moved from Hao Lo to a separate facility “Alcatraz” in 1967. Among them were Jim Stockdale and Bob Shumaker. Like Shumaker, Coker was a key communications link in the command structure at Hao Lo and the other Hanoi prisons. He also has the
During the Vietnam War many United States soldiers were captured and held as prisoners of war (POW). Many soldiers reported being regularly tortured, and some were used for military propaganda. This segment from Iowa Public Television’s Iowans Remember Vietnam includes archival footage and interviews with Iowa veteran Harold Johnson. Johnson describes his role as a military jet pilot, his experience being captured, his days in captivity and his eventual release.