IamA American Prisoner of War who was imprisoned for 6.5 years & returned there 20 years later to meet they guy credited with my capture. AMAA!
AMy father was a prisoner of war (POW) from 1966-1973 during the Vietnam war. He is a pretty quiet and humble guy who has experienced a whole lot in his life. He doesn't really like being the center of attention, so he doesn't like to talk about himself too much. As a result, there are some mysteries about his past that I would love to learn about, including his experiences as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. What better way than to have reddit learn with me too? Well with a little bit of convincing (and explaining what reddit is), he's agreed to answer your questions, and I'm hoping that maybe we'll all learn something about my personal hero.
Hubert Buchanan, my dad, was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Air Force who was a fighter pilot and systems operator for the F4 Phantom (a 2 person fighter jet). While on a combat mission on September 16 1966, his plane came under heavy fire and was was shot down by the North Vietnamese. He successfully ejected, and was immediately captured by a large group of villagers and militia upon landing. The pilot of his plane, Maj. John L. Robertson was never seen again. Buchanan was held in captivity for 6.5 years at several prison camps in North Vietnam, including the famous "Hanoi Hilton." While in captivity he was subjected to brutal conditions including extended periods of solitary confinement as well as a various forms of torture. After the Vietnam war had drawn to a close, the United States and North Vietnam negotiated a prisoner exchange which resulted in my dad coming home to the USA in 1973.
In 1991, my dad returned to Vietnam and visited the village where he was captured, the sites of the prison camps he was held, and met the man who got the credit for capturing him. My dad and his captor had tea together, and still communicate via skype to this day.
My dad's a cool dude. I'll do the typing - Ask him anything!
For More Information: *http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/b/b104.htm *http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5ZVTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KocDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6524%2C3524242 *http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1992/Prison-for-American-POWs-Hanoi-Hilton-to-be-Torn-Down/id-f0a102a82b1b4208ca6a1b6ba3a1de33
Edit 1: (1:44pm EDT) What a great response, we're on the front page! My dad really wants to go to the dump because it closes soon, so we're going to take a break. Keep your interesting questions coming, we'll be sure to answer some more later!!
- PTSD: There are many questions about whether he experienced/experiences post-traumatic stress. This reply seems to sum it up nicely. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2d2msu/iama_american_prisoner_of_war_who_was_imprisoned/cjlg3oj
- Torture: There are also many questions about the torture, this reply also is very descriptive. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2d2msu/iama_american_prisoner_of_war_who_was_imprisoned/cjlj9o1
Edit 3 Still in awe about the response to this. My dad is taking a break for a few hours. He will be answering more questions tonight at 7pm EDT we would really like to answer as many questions as possible!
Edit 4 Wow, gold! Thank you! I'm not sure my dad can use it, but hey it's very kind of you!
Edit 5 Aaaand We're back and answering your questions! (7pm EDT)
Edit 6 To those of you posting in Afghanistan, take care of yourselves and thank you willingness to serve the country.
Edit 7 Thank you all very much for the turnout, the questions, and the respect. My dad is pretty pretty tired and would like to go home, watch tv, and spend time with his black-and-white cat. We're sorry if we didn't get to all of your questions, but we hope that this was informative and helps provide a newer or more detailed impression of what went on in Vietnam for my dad and his fellow prisoners. Thank you all!