Colonel Jack Pitchford
Saturday 12 December 2009
Colonel Jack Pitchford, who died on 2 December aged 82, was a fighter pilot from Mississippi who survived seven years in the notorious Vietnamese prison camp known as the Hanoi Hilton.
Pitchford was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 and taken to Hoa Lo prison, where many Americans, including the former presidential candidate John McCain, endured brutal torture.
Pitchfordhad volunteered for a perilous assignment with the Wild Weasels, a group of pilots who flew low-altitude missions hunting down and destroying surface-to-air missiles. He became the first Weasel pilot taken prisoner after bailing out of his F-100 Super Sabre in December 1965. Pitchford was shot in the arm three times and the man flying with him, Bob Trier, was killed in a gun battle on the ground.
Pitchford was released in 1973, the same year as McCain. The pilot never fully recovered from his injuries, but never regretted his service to his country, his brother Jim said, adding: "His achievement in life was really sustaining himself through the ordeal in prison camp, and he considered himself a very fierce resister."
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
- 5 Ice Bucket Challenge: US firefighter Tony Grider dies after participating in charity craze near power lines
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...