Learning Center Our Enshrinees

James Bond Stockdale

  • Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946.
  • Attended Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland and was the first military officer to teach an academic course in airplane performance there.
  • Served as the flight leader of the first supersonic jets on the scene during the 1958 Taiwan Straits crisis.
  • Served as the flight leader for the first air strike against North Vietnam following the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964.
  • Shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 and spent seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo Prison, or “Hanoi Hilton.” He spent four of these years in solitary confinement and several more in leg irons.
  • Organized resistance among his fellow prisoners, established a code of conduct for the men, and used a secret communication system to talk with other POWs. He also passed information to Navy Intelligence through coded letters to his wife, Sybil.
  • Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1976 by President Gerald Ford for his heroic actions as a prisoner of war.

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