Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts
59.5k

Jeremiah Denton blinked T-O-R-T-U-R-E in morse code while filming propaganda as a prisoner of war - May 17, 1966.

1.5k comments
91% Upvoted
What are your thoughts? Log in or Sign uplog insign up
level 1

Blinking the code. Under duress. Answering the questions. Fighting the impending thought of upcoming torture. And yet pulling it off. Solid willpower.

level 2
Comment deleted2 months ago
level 3
2.9k points · 2 months agoGilded1 · edited 2 months ago

Imagine the poise if he had Havels set on

Edit: First gold, thank you mr gold man

level 4

rip to DS3 players

level 5

"Working as intended"

3 more replies

level 4

..... ----- .-.-.- .----

level 5

Translated text:

50.1


I am a bot created by /u/zero-nothing. Please PM him if I'm doing anything stupid! Reply to a comment with '/u/morse-bot' to call me and I will translate the comment you replied to from morse-to-text or vice versa!

level 6
level 7

Translated text:

..... ----- .-.-.- .----


I am a bot created by /u/zero-nothing. Please PM him if I'm doing anything stupid! Reply to a comment with '/u/morse-bot' to call me and I will translate the comment you replied to from morse-to-text or vice versa!

10 more replies

level 4

Wt ring u got bithc?

level 4

And the WOLF RING

4 more replies

level 4

Big poise for big bois

11 more replies

level 3

Absolute unit

level 4
620 points · 2 months ago

In awe at the eyes of that lad

2 more replies

2 more replies

4 more replies

level 2
1.4k points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

The other aspects are obviously terrible, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how he was answering questions at the same time. It’s extremely difficult for the average person to focus on two word sets simultaneously. People who are fluent in multiple languages tend to be slightly better at it because of the automatic, linguistic mirroring that’s required to translate, but what this guy’s doing is even harder. He’s not simply translating the same message from one language into another, he’s communicating two separate messages at the same time. And on top of that, he’s not just writing down ‘torture’ with pen or pencil while dictating the propagandistic message, he’s communicating it via Morse code. Just crazy.

Edit: There are a bunch of responses claiming that Denton had loads of time to practice this, so it was essentially muscle memory. Can anyone speak to whether he actually knew he'd be the subject of this video ahead of time? That's an underlying assumption that has not really been backed up in any of the aforementioned responses.

level 3
377 points · 2 months ago

It really is amazing, you can see the focus in his eyes.

level 4

I thought I saw ‘torture’ in his eyes...

(I’ll show myself out)

1 more reply

1 more reply

level 3

EXACTLY! Two messages at once! The extent to which he was pushed that he knew he had to do this. I can only imagine the solitude he dwelled in. The solitude where he prepared himself for the torture, questions and letting out another message at the same time! This is surreal!

level 4

I remember listening to a podcast, can’t remember which, where they interviewed a Vietnam POW. The extent that they were forced to live inside their own minds is amazing. One example was a guy who literally designed a house for when he eventually would come home down to what bricks he was going to use.

level 5

I got the chance to spend time with a POW who came to speak at my church once who played full rounds of golf in his mind at his favorite real-life courses.

He was held in a room that was completely dark (like “The Hole”-style prison isolation rooms popularized in movies and TV) so he created a game where he pulled a button off his shirt, tossed it in the air, then counted silently to himself as he patted the ground until he could find it. He actually had a scorecard in his head of how many seconds it took him each time.

I aspire to that level of mental strength.

level 6

Not just POWs. My grandfather spent 2 days floating in the ocean during ww2 after his ship was sunk. Listening to his shipmates dying and being eaten by sharks was torture. He said it felt like a week and he actually planned his whole life in his head while floating. I could not even imagine 2 days let alone years of that.

5 more replies

level 6

I aspire to never need that level of mental strength. I mean god damn, I’m almost certain I would lose my mind in that situation.

level 7
10 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

I've been wanting a cyanide tooth for years in case I get kidnapped.

level 8

I feel like the risk factor surrounding a chipped tooth goes way up if that whole thing works in the way that I'm picturing it.

2 more replies

1 more reply

level 4

And how much he practiced spelling "torture" with his eyes so much so he could do it while speaking a different message.

level 3

He was military, I don't know if they did it back then, but now it is all about practice/repetition, leading to muscle memory taking over and thus not having to think about the action at hand.

If you have most of the day to do nothing, practicing your morse blinking might help you stay sane.

Then again, I doubt they told him, "You're going to be in a propaganda video in x days!! Get camera ready."

So it was probably a spontaneous idea.

level 4

They might not have told him but he might've heard from other POWs that they were pulling people out to interview them

level 3

He probably practiced it for weeks. Something to keep his mind off of all the torture.

level 4

Hrmmmm does spelling torture with your eyes take your mind off of physical torture.

level 5
34 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Concentrating on anything else can help ease physical pain. Not that it would take the pain away, but it probably gave him something to focus on instead of unbearable agony.

1 more reply

2 more replies

level 3

I couldn’t do that on my best day. He did it while being tortured.

level 3
Comment deleted2 months ago

12 more replies

54 more replies

level 2

It's also extremely courageous. I'm sure he realized that if his captors noticed he was up to something, he would be tortured more severely or killed.

level 2

Never forget the great quote of our fearless leader. Except for the foot thing.

"I like people who weren't captured"

level 3

Holy shit, that's right. . . how does a political party that boasts rabid patriotism let that slide?

level 4

Purporting to care about something vs actually caring about something.

3 more replies

level 4
89 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Because they never believed in patriotism or the Veterans. They use it for PR because they know how popular it is to tout that kind of rhetoric to Americans. We eat it up like it's candy. Meanwhile, these are the same fuckers who voted against 9/11 First Responders Reauth Bill.

1 more reply

21 more replies

6 more replies

level 2

The mental toughness and strength is what’s incredible to not break in any shape or for to be such a high functioning solider

88 more replies

level 1
15.1k points · 2 months ago

He survived, became a Senator and lived to 89.

level 2
6.9k points · 2 months ago

"In the book, he described an ordeal under torture. “A special rig was devised for me in my cell,” he recalled. “I was placed in a sitting position on a pallet, with my hands tightly cuffed behind my back and my feet flat against the wall. Shackles were put on my ankles, with open ends down, and an iron bar was pushed through the eyelets of the shackles.

“The iron bar was tied to the pallet and the shackles in such a way that when the rope was drawn over a pulley arrangement, the bar would cut into the backs of my legs, gradually turning them into a swollen, bloody mess. The pulley was used daily to increase the pressure, and the iron bar began to eat through the Achilles tendons on the backs of my ankles. For five more days and nights I remained in the rig.”"

That is brutal and that is what he survived.

level 3

im having a hard time picturing this in my head

level 4

i need a diagram

level 5

CoachAirlineSeatDiagram.jpg

level 5
483 points · 2 months ago

I need a life size recreation.

level 6

I need to experience it firsthand for five days.

level 7

"Meow."

level 8
233 points · 2 months ago

"Me. Ow."

level 9

I remember this. During the Vietnam years, you could buy POW bracelets. They listed the names of POWS captured. We all wore them.

2 more replies

level 8

Good old number 1,457

1 more reply

10 more replies

5 more replies

8 more replies

level 5

What I need but don't want.

10 more replies

level 4

I feel bad for not understanding the contraption

level 5

Imagine this..You are sitting on your ass...upright. Your feet are then lifted and placed against a wall. Under your ankles they place a very thin bar. When you rest, your achilles rests on that bar so you keep them lifted to keep the pressure off so the bar doesn't dig into one spot. Every day they come in a raise the bar..better keep those feet up or slowly the bar cuts into your achilles.

level 6

Kind of like when people ask "if our legs were backwards, what would chairs look like?"?

level 7

Sounds like this but for your legs.

Say I get you to kneel and place your head against the wall. Now I put a thin metal stick where your Adams apple / sensitive throat area is. Now you are fine cause you can hold your head against the wall. However, after a day you get tired and lower your head, now the metal cuts into your throat.

For the legs it sounds like a machine which I picture as a pregnancy machine except it doesn't support your legs. Only you and the wall. Now when you stop pushing on the wall your calf and tendons get mutilated by pressure on a thin metal bar.

Not sure if this helps but it seemed helpful when I started writing it. First example kinda sucked.

Edit: SerayphFR says below

He was sat down on top of a pallet with his hands behind his back and his legs stretched out flat on the pallet. His ankles were shackled with the open side facing downwards. An iron bar was passed through the eyelets of the shackles so his feet could not be removed. A rope was tied to this bar and to the pallet. Whenever the rope was pulled, it basically tightened the iron bar up against the back end of his ankles, where his Achilles tendon were. Apparently, every day, the pressure from the iron bar was increased gradually until it caused all of the damage he described.

Honestly, I can't imagine the agony.

Edit: I thought it was something like a cross or leaving you on a stool with a rope around your neck. Torture through exhausting you till you can't protect yourself.

3 more replies

5 more replies

2 more replies

level 4
272 points · 2 months ago

He was sat down on top of a pallet with his hands behind his back and his legs stretched out flat on the pallet. His ankles were shackled with the open side facing downwards. An iron bar was passed through the eyelets of the shackles so his feet could not be removed. A rope was tied to this bar and to the pallet. Whenever the rope was pulled, it basically tightened the iron bar up against the back end of his ankles, where his Achilles tendon were. Apparently, every day, the pressure from the iron bar was increased gradually until it caused all of the damage he described.

Honestly, I can't imagine the agony.

level 5

My worst pain in my life so far has been kidney stones. I’d gladly take 5 more of those over 5 days of that torture.

level 6

My only goal in life is to avoid kidney stones... I just have to keep drinking a lot of water right?

level 7

Lot of water should keep you safe. I’ve had like 7 in my life (first one when I was like 5, last one when I was 17). So it’s been a solid 7 years since my last one. I drink way less Mountain Dew now than I did the rest of my life.

Some people are just prone to them. Some people can drink/eat whatever they want and never get one. I definitely dread the day I get another one lol. Only time I’ve ever vomited from pain in my life.

level 8
14 points · 2 months ago

When I was younger, probably about 20 or 21, I was helping my Grandfather paint one of the bedrooms in his house. We left together to go get some food and a few more supplies, and on the way in he started complaining about pain. It was hitting him while we ate and also while we were at the store. On the way back he asked me to drive back in because it was getting worse. It got so bad about 2 minutes after leaving the store that he was wailing in the passenger seat, yelling for me to take him to the hospital. About forty-five seconds after that he told me to pull over and he threw up on the side of the road. I was so fucking terrified, I though my Grandfather was dying in the damn car with me. Got him to the hospital and it ended up being a kidney stone. Said it was the most painful thing he'd ever been through. And I totally believe him, I was dead terrified something really awful was happening based off of his reaction.

4 more replies

2 more replies

level 7

There's a genetic aspect, so as long as they don't run in your family then there's no big cause for concern. Certainly avoid excess oxalates/phosphates especially in the form of dark sodas and keep hydrated. Also keep your sodium intake at a healthy level.

Source: had 3, sister has had 4, uncle has had many more

1 more reply

level 7
11 points · 2 months ago

Not necessarily. Sometimes something in your diet causes the stones despite how much water you drink. Any kind of kidney disease will also cause stones. If you ever get kidney stones, the best way to avoid them in the future is to get the stones tested and see what’s causing them.

Sauce: 22 y.o. that used to get kidney stones several times a year.

8 more replies

level 6
Comment deleted2 months ago

3 more replies

7 more replies

1 more reply

level 4

Well if it's ripping his Achilles tendons, it really must've been hurting him.

level 5

Well if it really must've been hurting him, then he's describing pain.

level 6

It's like they knew precisely where his Achilles heel was.

level 7
26 points · 2 months ago

The weirdest part was they had to study mythology beforehand

level 5

As someone who has torn there Achilles’ tendon, or popped it rather, I have an unwilling reaction to seeing or hearing about people injuring their Achilles. It makes me physically sick.

The difference between the athletes or friends I’ve seen tear theirs and this situation is that most all Achilles tears happen instantly and then it’s done. You know it’s gone immediately because your calf rolls up and you can lift your toes upwards. Well, and because you feel it snap.

This slow Achilles torture almost caused me to throw up my breakfast. This is my worst nightmare to imagine this happening.

level 6

your calf rolls up

What the fuck

4 more replies

level 4
Comment deleted2 months ago

1 more reply

level 4
Comment deleted2 months ago

1 more reply

5 more replies

level 3

John Mccain went through similar which is why he can't lift his arms above his shoulders.

level 3

Who is sick enough to even think of this? And how long did it take for them to come up with it? This is incredibly sad.

level 4

"Humans. The monsters of mythology, the tyrants of empires, and the cruelest of torturers are all as human as you or me. We carry the seed of great evil in us all, but it's our duty to starve that seed with good and compassion that we, too, are capable of."

6 more replies

level 3
30 points · 2 months ago

Makes me nauseous to just think about

131 more replies

level 2

He as also married to the same woman for sixty one years.

13 more replies

level 2
257 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Maybe if someone else has just-waking-up-brain like me, that doesn't mean he lived to 1989, he lived to 2014 to the age of '89.

Edit: ugh.

level 3
131 points · 2 months ago

'89=1989

level 4
86 points · 2 months ago

wow, look at that. I did not get enough sleep. I wont correct that to shame myself into going to bed earlier.

1 more reply

1 more reply

level 3

Nah, you're correct.

Someone, "living to 89" means they lived until they were 89 years old, that's how that phrase is used.

8 more replies

level 2
92 points · 2 months ago

It's a good thing our president prefers people who served and didn't get captured. Unlike that failure John McCain /s

16 more replies

55 more replies

level 1
Comment deleted2 months ago
level 2
1.2k points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

The biggest issue is the north vietnamese didnt considered them prisoners of war, but war criminals and thought they were justified in these atrocities.

Edit: I am not arguing who was right or wrong in the conflict. What the vietnamese did to some of these men was inhuman and inhumane.

level 3

war criminals

Worse, they considered them common criminals. Because no formal state of war existed between North Vietnam and the United States, they said that American soldiers could not be considered combatants and they were, legally speaking, just guys with guns shooting people on Vietnamese soil (they claimed jurisdiction over South Vietnam, not recognizing the Saigon regime)

level 4
107 points · 2 months ago

Well, yeah. South Vietnam held an election and rigged it in favour of a candidate (who got more votes in Saigon than there were people in Saigon...) who then refused to participate in a peaceful referendum on reunification because, as the US estimated, he would lose by an 80:20 split. As the division was explicitly meant to be temporary in order to set up this referendum, NV let the 'temporary' division expire when it was supposed to.

11 more replies

level 3

Sounds like what the usa does in their black sites

level 4

John McCain talked about how the "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" the US military and CIA were caught using during the War on Terrorism often directly resembled what he was put through in Vietnam. He was very outspoken about shutting down these practices and was instrumental in wording the new orders to make them illegal.

He goes into detail about this in his latest book. He also discusses his feelings about Trump calling for these tactics "and worse" to be brought back.

level 4

Guess we have some pretty shitty “black sites” since everyone knows what goes on there.

level 5

They didn't know we had them at the time hence: black sites.

level 6

And no one really knows where they are hence: black sites.

level 7

And no one really knows what color they are hence: ??? sites.

5 more replies

level 5

think how bad the ones we DONT know about are.

3 more replies

3 more replies

level 4

Or prisons, solitary confinement is torture

level 5

It's a bit of a double edged sword. Solitary confinement is certainly torture, but for most of us being locked in a room with rapists, murderers, and generally violent people would also be torture. I'm not really sure which I'd pick, as a pacifist nerd hermit I'm leaning towards solitary if I could get a few books and pen/paper.

level 6

Even for an introverted hermit, you would be surprised how much the human animal needs other human interaction to remain healthy. Inb4 someone brings up an example of some guy living in the woods and never talking to anyone for decades and being "fine."

level 7

Does talking to yourself count? I'm never alone when i've got me.

4 more replies

1 more reply

level 6

I used to feel the same way, but then I once got left alone in a holding cell with no windows or communication devices for ~ 5 hours.

level 6

Dude they don't let you have anything there, it's literally torture

Solitary confinement receives severe criticism for having detrimental psychological effects[5]and constituting torture.[6] According to a 2017 review study, "a robust scientific literature has established the negative psychological effects of solitary confinement", leading to "an emerging consensus among correctional as well as professional, mental health, legal, and human rights organizations to drastically limit the use of solitary confinement."[7]

2 more replies

10 more replies

14 more replies

1 more reply

33 more replies

level 2
217 points · 2 months ago

Ever watch the locked up abroad with John McCain?

They went into the story of the other prisoner he communicated with in the next cell over.

Before he was moved to the same place as McCain they had him in a bamboo cage in the jungle. Strapped to the jungle floor with the cage being the size of a coffin.

For something like 9 months!

I forgot how long but jesus... imagine the heat, insects, human waste, rain... the psychological torture.

level 3

He was permanently disabled from his torture. Absolutely horrendous.

13 more replies

level 3

For anyone wondering, it's on Netflix. Season 8, Episode 1.

level 4

I was, I will, thank you.

1 more reply

level 2

Do you have information about what happened to him? Did he live?

level 3

According to /u/sdhaja he did survive, even became a US senator and died at the age of 89

23 more replies

level 3

Unfortunately, the torture seemed to be too great and he succumbed to his wounds 65 years later :[

level 4

I think this is joke

level 5

This isn’t joke this is dad

level 5

"joke"

4 more replies

1 more reply

level 3

Do you have information

DO YOU HAVE GOOGLE ACCESS?

level 4

What's goodle

level 5

What's a computer?

5 more replies

3 more replies

level 4

I once read on reddit that if somebody asks a question thats easily google-able, then theres a good chance that person would just like a back and forth conversation. Learning through conversations is infinitely more fun than reading textbooks, imo.

level 5

Yes, I often answer questions someone could Google because I know they want some one on one question asking conversation, not to read articles.

1 more reply

3 more replies

5 more replies

level 2

It's a good thing that the USA does not torture prisoners.

In all seriousness, it's important to remember that when we torture prisoners, we are really giving the green light to other forces to torture US soldiers. I can't think of a less patriotic thing then giving any indication that it is okay to torture our service members.

101 more replies

26 more replies

level 1

I can hardly walk and speak at the same time, let alone blink in another alphabet. Old school cool, indeed.

level 2
428 points · 2 months ago

He must have practised that for quite a while

level 3

Well I've been blinking all my life too and I still can't do that.

level 4

The first step is to get really good at being tortured.

3 more replies

level 3

Honestly had motivation on tap.

Like a Saw movie in real life.

1 more reply

1 more reply

3 more replies

level 1
1.1k points · 2 months ago

That’s one of the most clever things I ever heard. I hope he was able to make it out alive, does anyone know?

level 2

Yes

level 3

Well don't leave us hanging!

level 4

He became a US senator

level 5
186 points · 2 months ago

Well don’t leave us hanging!

level 6
283 points · 2 months ago

He died in 2014 and he was 89

level 7

Well don’t leave us hanging!

level 8

Lucky the Vietnamese didn't leave him hanging

level 9
138 points · 2 months ago

Well don't leave u-- oh wait are we done here?

level 10

:/ all good things must come to an end

2 more replies

2 more replies

3 more replies

level 2

And became a Senator!

level 3

He lived until he was 89!

level 4

1.650796e+136? That's a lot!

1 more reply

level 2

That war hero became a senator and unfortunately passed in 2014. The story of his torture makes me sick.

level 3

Unfortunately? I mean dude was almost 90 so idk if its necessarily unfortunate

level 4
16 points · 2 months ago

Unfortunate for the world that a hero like him is no longer with us

14 more replies

5 more replies

level 1
655 points · 2 months ago

I remember this. During the Vietnam years, you could buy POW bracelets. They listed the names of POWS captured. We all wore them. I lived and breathed those stories. Later we read of the torture and years of imprisonment that somehow some survived. Later in the military, I met men who knew those stories and lived them. John McCain was also a POW and Rear Admiral Denton was the POW commanding officer at the Hanoi Hilton. If you have not read of this terrible place, please do.

level 2

Funny/scary/sad story: I spent two weeks in northern Vietnam two years ago. We had a 25ish year old tour guide who had been through government approved classes to be a guide. We were at the American War Museum in Hanoi and he started telling us about the POWs. He talked about the capture of "great American hero John McCain" and then said a sentence burned into my brain broken english and all:

"we treated American prisoners very well. They love their time here so much they think they are in hotel! They call it 'Hanoi Hilton'!"

My jaw hit the floor. I'd seen communist propaganda around Hanoi, and we were about to go visit Ho Chi Minh's preserved body, but that was the moment I realized just how intact the propaganda machine still is in Hanoi. He was our guide for 2 more days after that and ended up saying a number of things that provided an interesting perspective on the war, vietnamese history and the country on the whole, but that was the moment I realized anything he told us was through the lens of his government sponsored education.

level 3
104 points · 2 months ago

In the war museum in Ho Chi Minh City the USA are clearly portrayed as the evil side. As they say, history is written by victors. Still, the USA committed atrocities though during the Vietnam way, leveling everything with agent orange seems excessive

level 4

Oh, the entire war was fucked up and dehumanizing on both sides. It was just interesting to me how the official propaganda had specifically twisted the Hanoi Hilton name, and that the government licensed guide specifically used it, but with the irony stripped away 100%.

level 5

Yeah I get what you mean

3 more replies

level 3

Wow.

level 3

When I was in Vietnam I saw a group of American students laughing and joking around in front of a line of pickled fetuses, all deformed by exposure to agent orange.

It goes both ways.

20 more replies

14 more replies

level 2

Still have my bracelet.

level 3

Do you? Who is on it and have you found them?

level 4

Col. James L. Hughes 5-5-67 , I just recently got it out of a box. He made it back. I never had a plan of what to do with the bracelet so I just kept it. Would seem odd to throw it away.

level 5

It's a piece of history. If you haven't, reaching out to his family and explaining you still have it would probably mean a lot to them.

level 6

It seems a lot a people wanted to send back their bracelets to the families. I can't imagine they would want thousands of them. What someone needs to do is collect them and make a POW memorial. I bet there are many still out there.

level 7

I hadn't thought about there being repeats but that makes sense now

level 5

Wow, can you show me the picture of the bracelet? I would love to know how it looks like!

level 6

I couldn't figure out how to add it here so I made a post. Hope that works for you.

2 more replies

2 more replies

level 3

I have 3 of them that I got back in 1989. I wrote to the families of all three of them in care of the individual services and the family of the Marine wrote back. I lived in San Antonio at the time and the family members lived in Dallas. They invited me up to visit them on POW/MIA day in 1989. I got to meet his brother and three sisters and their families and his nephew who is also a Marine. They gave me his picture and the following year they came to my college graduation as "family members." According to the telegram his parents received back in 1970, he was in a helicopter crash and was probably KIA but they could not recover a body because of the intense fire so he's listed as MIA.

level 4

That is an amazing story.

level 5

My classmates thought I was crazy for going up there to Dallas and staying with this family that I never met before. I tried to explain that they were already like family to me because I grew up in the military, my dad had been in Vietnam and survived two tours, so to me he was not a stranger and therefore neither would his family be. His brother at the time was almost 50 so these were older people and they were just country-folk. In fact, they had not gotten together as a family in more than five years and they came together because they wanted to see me, a complete stranger who had worn their brother's name on a bracelet. His nephew, also a Marine, ended up taking my sister to a Marine Corps Birthday ball in California when he was stationed out there and she went to college out there.

5 more replies

2 more replies

29 more replies

level 1

How did people respond when they saw this footage? Where they like “well I’ll be, he just told us he was getting tortured in Morse code” or did it take people a while to realized what he was doing?

level 2

It's virtually guaranteed intelligence went over the video with a fine toothed comb as soon as it was broadcast, and the message was discovered.

level 2

I believe intelligence services would look for coded messages in these kind of transmissions.

level 2

Yeah who was the first to figure it out?

1 more reply

level 1
402 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

When I was at basic training in Newport for the US Navy, we had a former POW from the Hanoi Hilton meet with us to discuss the Code of Conduct (how American POWs are supposed to conduct themselves if captured). It was one of the most riveting talks I have ever received in my life.

Read up on what Admiral Stockdale did to earn his Medal of Honor.

EDIT: Some people have asked me privately; the sailor who spoke to us was Porter Halyburton.

level 2
438 points · 2 months ago

Just read Stockdale’s story, that’s amazing.

He was like “You think you can torture me? I can torture myself way worse than that you sissies.”

For anyone else who wants the TLDR; he provided tremendous leadership to all the POWs in organizing resistance and when his captors figured out his importance and were going to parade him in public he sliced his own head open with a blade and beat his own face into a bloody pulp so they couldn’t show him in public.

He later attempted to kill himself to prevent his own interrogation and the investigation into his fellow POWs resistance activities. The VC were so scared that he was going make them look bad that they started treating him better.

level 3

The guy was the ultimate badass and my personal naval hero. We all like to think we have what it takes to be strong, but the will he had far exceeds anything I could ever expect in myself. He absolutely broke the power his captors had over him and set the example as the senior officer.

It's a shame because many people only remember him as the vice presidential candidate with Ross Perot.

level 4

It's a shame because many people only remember him as the vice presidential candidate with Ross Perot.

And not a particularly bright one, thanks to SNL.

level 5

Yeah. I mean I get it. At the time he was pretty old and likely had mild dementia. I think he issued a statement implying that his comments "Who am I, why am I here?" were rhetorical. This kind of makes sense, but both are probably true to some degree.

1 more reply

2 more replies

10 more replies

level 2

Holy shit, Stockdale was a badass.

When told by his captors that he was to be paraded in public, Stockdale slit his scalp with a razor to purposely disfigure himself so that his captors could not use him as propaganda. When they covered his head with a hat, he beat himself with a stool until his face was swollen beyond recognition. When Stockdale was discovered with information that could implicate his friends' "black activities", he slit his wrists so they could not torture him into confession.

6 more replies

1 more reply

level 1
270 points · 2 months ago

"In 1957, he was credited with revolutionizing naval strategy and tactics for nuclear war as architect of the "Haystack Concept." This strategy called for concealing aircraft carriers from radar by intermingling with commercial shipping and avoiding formations suggestive of a naval fleet. The strategy was simulated in maneuvers and demonstrated effectiveness, allowing two aircraft carrier fleets thirty-five simulated atomic launches before aggressor aircraft and submarines could repel them"

That is amazing.

level 2

So...hiding military vessels among civilians? Isn’t this dangerously close to using students and elderly as human shields?

level 3

In a nuclear conflict you have to do as much damage to the enemy before your retaliatory capabilities are neutralised, this strategy is to deceive the enemy by appearing to be civilian vessels giving the carriers time to launch nuclear armed war planes.

If this strategy had to actually ever be implemented our entire species is essentially finished.

31 more replies

level 3

No. Not in this case. In all out out nuclear war nobody gives a shit anymore. Plans for nuclear war already involve nuking cities. It isn’t a shield. It is deception.

The point is for them not to recognize the fact that you are a high value target.

level 3

I interpreted that as less actually being super close to the commercial ships but just using their shipping lanes / traveling in a commercial formation with military ships

10 more replies

level 3

Ehhh, I guess it’s possible that it could come to that if we were involved in a nuclear war, but I think it’s more likely that the government would simply buy or contract commercial vessels for that purpose. The main reason to buy or contract them is for communications, coordination, and control. If you were just going to tag along with civilian ships, you’d lose some logistical certainty, and have to do way more contingency planning, because at the drop of a hat, a civilian ship could act unexpectedly (e.g., by shifting course to stop at a different port than it had originally planned for), leaving the carrier naked. Given our defense budget, I doubt the military would balk at buying an oil tanker or two in order to ensure the safety of such a valuable asset.

It’s worth mentioning that the original haystack concept was not about close intermingling with commercial vessels. Aircraft carriers are often accompanied and surrounded by support ships (e.g., battle cruisers). When detected on radar, battle groups were very easy to identify because they resembled bullseyes of blips, rather than individual blips. So the original haystack concept was about having the carriers follow commercial shipping routes in order to seem like individual commercial vessels (e.g., oil tankers), while having the support ships close, but not so close that they’d look like a battle group.

It was only after that tactic proved successful that the military toyed with the idea of commercial accompaniment/decoys.

2 more replies

11 more replies

level 1
135 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

I strongly recommend Ken Burns’ documentary series “The Vietnam War” to anyone (it’s on Netflix). Vietnam was one of the shadiest, most dishonest times in American history and, since the secrets are now out, the retrospective narrative is just incredible.

level 2
31 points · 2 months ago

I think it's the best documentary series I've ever seen.
It's hard to even find the words for the gravity it has.

1 more reply

14 more replies

level 1
28 points · 2 months ago

This was the only confirmation they had that the POWs were indeed being tortured. It was such an impressive and game changing thing for our intelligence of what was going on at the time. I remember reading a lot about him. This was truly remarkable.

level 1

S-e-n-d-n-u-d-e-s.

level 2

That man went on to be Senator Dnudes.

level 3

He will die in 2069

level 4

At 4:20 on June 9

1 more reply

level 3

Sen. Dnudes

1 more reply

3 more replies

2 more replies

level 1

This was featured in a PBS documentary called The Vietnam War. It's well worth the watch. Be warned, it is 18 hours.

level 2

It’s really good! I’ve been watching it on Netflix, sometimes before bed which has been giving me war related dreams... but still an incredible doc.

level 1

I can't even conciously blink while talking and this dude communicates in two different ways at the same time.

level 1

Read the book he wrote, When Hell Was in Session. It's an incredibly inspiring story of his life in captivity

level 1
54 points · 2 months ago

What is the definition of "old school cool"? Half of the time it's "look at my fuckable mom in the 70s", and now we have prisoners of war.

level 2

I guess just old shit that people find cool, from POWs to MILFs, we've got it all

2 more replies

level 1

Can someone combine the code into the gif?

1 more reply

level 1

What a badass

level 1

As an aside, his son, Jim Denton, just passed away this year.

level 1

“I prefer my war hero’s to not be captured”

2 more replies

level 1

Hey, he's from my hometown. Always love seeing this post, they taught us about this in grade school, always thought it was cool.

level 1
93 points · 2 months ago

He was captured though, not a war hero according to Trump.

level 2

That was the first moment in his campaign where my jaw just dropped. Hearing him say that about John McCain, AND still receiving support not just from his platform but vets and servicemen too, was astounding and straight up WTF. Obviously there's other stuff, but to this day I still can't wrap my head around how he got away with that shit. How is he a patriot?

Dude is a fucking scumbag.

2 more replies

level 2

Trump is such a wanker

level 1

Time to learn Morse code and use it with my friends in class

level 1

"I like people who weren't captured"

-Donald Jartholomew Trump

level 2

That comment solidified for me the moral depravity and hypocrisy of the Trump voter, especially after years of hearing how President Clinton was a draft dodger.

level 3

Not to mention them making John Kerry's purple hearts out as being a bad thing. Completely made up patriotism.

2 more replies

level 3

McCain should have gotten some convenient bone spurs.

level 4

McCain comes from a long line of Navy officers. He wasn't going to stay out of the biggest war of his generation.

1 more reply

11 more replies

level 1

If you ever hear anyone disparage a POW, remember...this is what a POW is.

1 more reply

level 1

..-. -.- -. -. --- .. -.-. .

2 more replies

level 1
53 points · 2 months ago

"I like people who weren't captured" - some privileged asshole who never suffered a day in his life

1 more reply

level 1

He ended up a Senator from Alabama. Lived to the ripe old age of 90! Apparently gigantic brass balls promote longevity.

350 more replies

Community Details

13.2m

Subscribers

15.6k

Online

/r/OldSchoolCool **History's cool kids, looking fantastic!** A pictorial and video celebration of history's coolest kids, everything from beatniks to bikers, mods to rude boys, hippies to ravers. And everything in between. If you've found a photo, or a photo essay, of people from the past looking fantastic, here's the place to share it.

Create Post
r/OldSchoolCool Rules
1.
Rule 1 – Must be 25 years old or more
2.
Rule 2 – Must have year or decade in the title
3.
Rule 3 – No offensive comments or submissions
4.
Rule 4 – Don't mention death of relative in title
5.
Rule 5 – No reposts less than 6 months old
6.
Rule 6 – Must feature a person
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.