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Stockdale's heroism to be honored in book, "The Class of '47"

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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:08 PM
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Stockdale's heroism to be honored in book, "The Class of '47"
Medal of Honor recipient Adm. James Stockdale will be remembered by fellow prisoners of war for his bravery and morale-boosting efforts in a North Vietnamese prison compound nicknamed "Las Vegas."

Stockdale, who died Tuesday at age 81 in Coronado, Calif., was imprisoned and tortured for seven and a half years at Hoa Lo Prison, where he and his fellow captives communicated by tapping on the walls between cells in Morse code.

"They would pass messages through the walls, and Stockdale would tap out inspirational phrases to keep up the morale of the men, as he was the highest-ranking Navy officer held captive," said local author Jack Sheehan, who is writing a book titled "The Class of '47."

The book, due out next spring, focuses on five members of that Navy class: Stockdale, former President Carter; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff William J. Crowe; Jack Stephens, former chairman of Augusta National and owner of Stephens Group; and Adm. Stansfield Turner, director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Carter.

Sheehan, in an e-mail, said the American POWs came to call their compound "Las Vegas" and named their cells after well-known casinos to soften the hardships they endured.
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