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"I was privileged to observe a thousand acts of courage and compassion and love. It is a great honor of my life." (Video interview)

   John S. McCain, III
Image of John S. McCain, III
Lt. Comdr. John S. McCain. April 24, 1973.
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Navy
Service Location: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; Meridian, Mississippi; Prisoner of War (POW) Hanoi, North Vietnam
Rank: Captain
POW: Yes
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John McCain's 5 1/2 years of captivity in North Vietnam were divided into two phases. Early on, this son and grandson of high-ranking Naval officers was accorded relatively privileged status. Then he refused early release--which he saw as a public relations stunt by his captors--insisting that POWs held longer than him should be granted their freedom first. Thereafter, McCain was treated much more severely, but he also had an opportunity to bond with his fellow prisoners. Those experiences strengthened his resolve and eased his transition back into civilian life.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview  
Download: video (28 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album (2 photos)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Choosing to be a Navy pilot; the futility of the air war. (02:07) How he was taken prisoner. (04:26) Refusing early release according to the Code of Conduct. (02:26)
Staying mentally alert while a prisoner. (00:49) How his captors used news of the anti-war movement. (01:16) Returning from captivity, readjustment. (01:48)
The inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls (01:24)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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