Saturday, January 14, 2006
The U.S. Navy has named a destroyer after Vice Adm. James Stockdale, a Medal of Honor winner and Vietnam-era prisoner of war. The newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will bear the name of Stockdale, who died last year at the age of 81. The new destroyer, DDG 106, is scheduled for delivery in 2008.
Vice Admiral James Bond StockdaleHis fighter was shot down over North Vietnam on Sept. 9, 1965, and he is the highest-ranking Navy officer to have been a prisoner of war. Stockdale was awarded the Medal of Honor for resisting the North Vietnamese who tortured him during the 7 1/2 years he was a prisoner of war. Stockdale spent about four years in solitary confinement and was tortured. He is credited with establishing rules of behavior for U.S. prisoners at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," including putting together a system of communication. The Navy said in addition to the Medal of Honor, Stockdale received 26 combat medals and awards, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, two Purple Hearts and four Silver Stars. He is a member of both the Aircraft Carrier Hall of Fame and National Aviation Hall of Fame. Stockdale was tabbed by Ross Perot to run for vice president of the United States in 1992 under Perot's Reform Party banner.