The POW's 1972 CHRISTMAS
HANOI, Republic of NORTH VIETNAM
Below are a couple of descriptions, written by two POWs, of their accounting of Christmas 1972 -
while still held captive in and around HANOI, Republic of NORTH Vietnam.
For PHOTOS and more STORIES from POWs
Col. TED GUY's HANOI HILTON website as linked below.
An excerpt from Col. TED GUY's "HANOI HILTON" web site.
by: Col. Ted Guy
Some may disagree, but the Christmas of 1972 was
certainly the best of my five while in jail, and possibly the
best up to that time in my life. My Christmas season
started about two weeks before Christmas when Art
Elliott and I were moved into Corncrib 2 in the camp
known as �The Plantation Gardens�. We were joined by 4
other Army helicopter pilots captured in South Vietnam.
A few nights later on December 18th
we were sitting on
the floor shooting the bull and playing bridge.
2000, we heard a distant rumbling that kept getting louder
and louder. The floor and the walls started to shake and
the Army troops said:
"Those are B-52 strikes!" Being an
old fighter jock and continuing my age old battle with
bomber crews, I informed my Army cohorts that was a
bunch of bull hockey because there was not a
in existence that had the balls to come to Hanoi and drop
As the rumbling moved closer and closer to the city
center, we observed through the tiny peep hole in the
door, hundreds of
streaking into the night sky
followed by horrendous explosions. By this time, the whole
camp was rocking and rolling and all my fellow jailbirds
were screaming encouragement to
The guard�s tried to contain us, but soon ran for cover and
were not seen the rest of the night.
I knew then that the war would soon be over.
Christmas bombing was indeed
"The Greatest Show on
Earth" and in my opinion the single most important factor
that led to our release. It is a shame that something
similar was not done on August 5th 1964. Fifty thousand
plus American lives would have been saved and the
POW/MIA tragedy would have been for the most part
Oh yes, Thank-you SAC for expediting our return.
by: Richard L. Bates, Former PoW
Jim Latham and I arrived at Heartbreak after a 60 day
sojourn from Pak 1. We were put back into solo of course
but were roomed together about 15 days later just before
the Christmas bombing began. I share your feeling about
the bombings... they were wonderful.
I also recall the
F-111 strikes. No forewarning and a lot of confusion.
night of the first one Jim and I were in the Stardust and
Spot and (I think) Pig Eyes came in very upset and wanted
to know "What that was". We said we didn't know. They
asked what we thought was going to happen and Jim very
matter of factly looked at them and said "I think we're
all going to die". The two of them made a very uneasy
quick exit. Jim and I laughed till we couldn't stand up. A
couple of nights later the entire population of the Zoo was
moved into Vegas with us. What a great Christmas
But the best was Christmas Eve.
Some of us were
talking and someone mentioned Tim Ayres.
I had flown as
a Wolf Fac with Tim and tried to work his SAR but it was
unsuccessful and we were pretty sure Tim had been Killed.
Finding out that he was indeed alive was one of the best
Christmas gifts I have ever received.
Click "CHRISTMAS in HANOI" link
below for More !!!
"CHRISTMAS in HANOI" POW/SRO Col. TED GUY's "HANOI HILTON" - "You are NOT forgotten Col. GUY"
End of excerpt from Col. TED GUY's "HANOI HILTON" web site.
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