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James Bond Stockdale

James Bond Stockdale - Medal of Honor Recipient


U.S. Navy
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Rear Admiral (then Captain) Stockdale senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam. Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt. Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, he resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice. He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War.

James Stockdale graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1947. His cousin, Robert Dunlap, earned the Medal of Honor in World War II.

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