Alcatraz 11: Vietnam's "Defiant" POWs

Alcatraz 11: Vietnam's "Defiant" POWs

Kojo hears the inspiring story of the 11 American prisoners-of-war who endured and heroically resisted years of brutal treatment at Vietnam's Hoa Lo prison and its sub camp "Alcatraz."

For years during the Vietnam War, hundreds of prisoners-of-war endured brutal treatment at Vietnam's Hoa Lo prison, also known as the "Hanoi Hilton." To evade their captors' ruthless quest for intelligence, 11 men developed a system of stealth communication and strict adherence to U.S. military code -- resistance that eventually landed them at an isolated jail known as "Alcatraz." Kojo hears the story of the men who fought the Vietnam war from Alcatraz, and discusses efforts on the home front that would permanently change America's treatment of POWs.

Guests

Alvin Townley

Author of "Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned"

Robert Shumaker

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.); former associate dean, Center for Aerospace Studies, University of North Dakota; former assistant dean, George Washington University

Vietnam POW Blinking Morse Code "T-O-R-T-U-R-E"

Retired U.S. Rear Admiral and former Senator (R-Al.) Jeremiah Denton blinks the word "torture" during a propaganda video made by his North Vietnamese captors.

Read An Excerpt From "Defiant"

Excerpted from "Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned" by Alvin Townley. Copyright © 2014 by Alvin Townley. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.