Thursday, October 8, 2009

Prisoner's of War in Vietnam

The Vietnam War was the longest conflict in America military history, lasting nearly 12 years. This also meant that those there were captured by enemy forces were held for the longest period of time. The longest-held American POW Everett Alvarez, held for nearly 8 years.

Prisoners spent days, weeks, months, and even years in solitary confinement to “reflect” on the crimes.” During this time, they were subjected to harsh interrogations and brutal beatings. They were also beaten for failing to sign “confessions” that listed their “crimes” against the Vietnamese. Often times, arms, legs, and teeth were broken, hand tied behind their backs for extended periods of time, and so on. The top right image shows the "Vietnamese rope trick" where the arms are tied together, and clamped in iron chains until the cirtulation was cut off, which often tims sprained and broke bones. For some, this went on for years.

The majority of prisoners were held at the “Hanoi Hilton” a nicknamed given my prisoners to the Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, North Vietnam. There were 13 other prisons throughout the region, as well as small make-shift prisons constructed by the Viet Cong (a civilian, militant militia that fought against the Americans).
To this day, more than 1,800 U.S. service members remain Missing In Action (MIA). It is possible that some are still being held in makeshift prisoners scattered throughout Southeast Asia.


  1. I can't believe that one man was a POW for eight years. I don't see how anyone can live that long given those circumstances. Great blog, I learned a lot of new things.

  2. That is some bad degree of torture there...I have to admire the people who go through it and are still able to survive.

  3. It is awful how they treated prisoners and would tie them up for years. The people who did that to others should be punished for doing that.

  4. 8 years? Thats a really long time to be held prisoner. Unimaginable. And the things they did to people while they were captives. and the Vietnamese rope trick sounds excruciatingly painful. I see POW & MIA flags and tshirts everywhere. They are not forgotten. Last week i saw Randy Houser at Screamin Willies and he was wearing a POW*MIA hat, he had turned it backwards. Everyone was yelling at him to turn it to the front, and when he did everyone cheered. So even in a crowd of 200 random people they will not be forgotten.

  5. Its crazy what those people had to go through during the war. nice blog alot of details.