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.