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Experiences of American Prisoners of War in Vietnam Essay

Experiences of American Prisoners of War in Vietnam Essay

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Lieutenant Everett Alvarez Jr., was the first American prisoner in Hoa Lo. The Vietnamese shot him down on August 5, 1964. The U.S. P.O.Ws underwent miserable conditions, which included lack of food and unsanitary conditions. They nicknamed the prison ''Hanoi Hilton'' referring to the Hilton Hotel, a well-known chain. There is the disagreement of who coined the name. However, Bob Shumaker was the one who wrote it down first.

The experiences of American prisoners of war in the Hanoi Hilton were torture and confinement. The North Vietnamese Army used the place to house and interrogate those they had captured. Many of them were the shot American pilots who they injured during bombing raids. North Vietnam was part of the Third Geneva Convention of 1945. It demanded human treatment of the captives (Hubbell, 1976).

However, the North Vietnamese Army employed torture methods. For example, irons, rope bindings, beatings, and prolonged solitary confinement. The Army did not want to get information. Instead they wanted to break the will of the American Prisoners of War in Vietnam. They targeted both individuals and groups.

The goal of the Vietnamese Army was to acquire written or recorded statements from the American prisoners. They wanted them to criticize the U.S. Conduct and praise how the North Vietnamese Army treated them (Frisbee, 1989).

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