Prisoners of War

Vietnam War

Lt Col Joseph S. Abbott, Jr. USAF (Ret)

Joseph S. Abbott served the United States Air Force in the 355th tactical fighter wing, as a F-105 pilot. On April 30th, 1967, he was flying overhead North Vietnam to cover and supported the search and rescue operation of two downed crews south of the Red River Delta. With complete disregard of his own personal safety, Captain Abbott diverted the attack, which allowed him to recover the damaged aircraft. He was reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

The Capture

After the diversion of the enemy to allow his leader to escape, he was shot down by enemy fire on the 28th mission. He was forced to eject out of the plane and he was soon captured. He was brought to a camp located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was known to the U.S. as the Hanoi Hilton. " Our way of life proved better if not the best by comparison with the people and life "over there"

Hanoi Hilton

Joseph Abbott faced extreme hardships in the "Hanoi Hilton". He was subjected to constant physical and psychological torture for around six years. Joseph and the other POWs were encouraged from previous military training to resist the enemy. The experiences that the POWs had at the Hanoi Hilton caused emotional scarring for future years,

The Return

Joseph S. Abbott was released from Hanoi, Vietnam on February 18th, 1973. He was absent for twenty years throughout the war, and he had not seen his seven children. Joseph retired from the United States Air Force as Lt. Colonel. He and his wife, Joan resided in New Jersey.

Joseph S. Abbott Veteran Tribute

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