Thursday, December 3, 2009

RIP COL Pitchford

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Retired Air Force Col. Jack Pitchford, a fighter pilot from Mississippi who survived seven years in the Vietnamese prison camp known as the "Hanoi Hilton," has died. He was 82.
Pitchford's brother says the former pilot died Wednesday after battling a brain tumor.

The Natchez, Miss., native was shot down in 1965 and taken to the Hoa Lo prison, enduring torture in the same place as U.S. Sen. John McCain and other veterans.

Pitchford was released in 1973. McCain was released the same year after spending five years in the prison.

Pitchford was born John Joseph Pitchford Jr. on May 29, 1927.

After earning his wings, Pitchford volunteered with the Wild Weasels and was responsible for destroying surface-to-air missiles.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press

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