Our site contains statistics and items of interest concerning Americans and foreign nationals held captive in North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China, names of the returnees, and various other information.
The only known graphic evidence of our captivity is in the Naval Institute Press book "Prisoner of War" by John M. McGrath, a retired Navy Captain and now retired from United Airlines. Here is a link to a sample of McGrath's work.
NAM-POWs expresses special thanks to The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats) for supporting us during our captivity and each of them could have shared a cell with us in the Hanoi Hilton. All NAM POWs were made Life Members of the River Rats upon our return.
NAM-POWs Corporation is a non-profit 501c (19) veterans organization chartered by the State of Arizona in 1973. NAM-POWs came into existence through a need for the 800 returning POWs (662 military and 138 civilians) repatriated from the Southeast Asia conflict to organize in such a way that they could continue to build upon their bonds of friendship and camaraderie developed over years of privation and any inhumane treatment they experienced while in the prison camps of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and China.
NAM-POWs is dedicated to the principles of patriotic allegiance to the United States of America, fidelity to its Constitution and laws, the security of civil liberty, and the perpetuation of free institutions. Our objectives are to cherish the memories of the valiant deeds of our members; to promote true fellowship among our members; to advance the best interests of members of the Armed Forces of the United States and to enhance their prestige and understanding by example and personal activity; to stimulate patriotism and national pride in the minds of our youth. Any person of good moral character who was a POW in Southeast Asia during the period 1961-1973 is eligible for membership.
Our first NAM-POW President was Medal of Honor recipient, the late Colonel George "Bud" Day, USAF (Ret). He has been joined by 540 active members, which include other distinguished Medal of Honor recipients: the late Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret); Colonel Leo Thorsness, USAF (Ret); and MSGT Jon Cavaiani, USA (Ret). Four other POWs: Capt. Rocky Versace,USA; Capt. Lance Sijan, USAF; Sergeant William D. Port, USA; and Col. Donald G. Cook, USMC posthumously received the Medal of Honor.
Our ranks are replete with honorable men who are continuing to serve their country with the same dedication and fervor that were displayed by their comrades confined in the infamous prisons of Southeast Asia, such as retired Navy Rear Admiral and former Senator of Alabama, the late Honorable Jeremiah Denton, the late Senator John McCain of Arizona, and the late Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas. The Honorable Douglas Peterson, former Congressman from Florida, was the first Ambassador to Vietnam. Others, such as the late Colonel Ben Purcell, USA (Ret) and Colonel Leo Thorsness, USAF (Ret) both served in State Legislatures.
Of the 802 Southeast Asia POWs (661 military, 141 civilians/foreign nationals), most of the 472 held in North Vietnam were tortured and imprisoned in several locations there, some longer than eight years, 263 in the South Vietnam jungle POW camps for as long as nine years, 31 in Laos, 31 in Cambodia, and 5 in China (two of whom were held for over 19 years under sub-human conditions). We are one of the strongest fraternal organizations that exists in the world today.
We are bonded together, not by rank or service; but with the deep knowledge and faith that we are one unit - one entity that the enemy could not destroy. We held our heads high with pride as we served our nation as Prisoners of War.
We accomplished our sworn goal...
RETURN WITH HONOR!