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United States Navy VA-85, CVW-11

A-6A Intruder

152589
NH-512

24th April 1967
Repatriated: 4th March 1973

(CVA-63)USS Kitty Hawk
Lt. Cdr. Michael Durhen Christian

 

 

Bombardier/Navigator Lt. Cdr. Michael D. Christian and pilot Lt. Lewis I. Williams were assigned to Attack Squadron 85 onboard the USS
KITTY HAWK (CVA 63). On April 24, 1967, their A6A Intruder attack
bomber was launched on a daylight strike mission into North Vietnam.

Approximately 3 miles from the target, their port (left) wing was hit by 85mm
anti-aircraft fire and was subsequently engulfed in flames. Lt. Williams
reversed course and jettisoned his ordnance before both crewmen ejected.

Both men were seen to land in an open field about 100 yards apart and established radio contact with airborne aircraft. The crewmen appeared uninjured and reported their condition as good. The ejection occurred in a well-defended, populated area near the city of Kep in Ha Bac Province, and capture was almost immediate.

Williams and Christian were held in various locations in Hanoi, North Vietnam
before they were released in March 1973.

 

"Mike Christian was 'famous' for improvising an American Flag out of scraps
and availible materials so that all the POW's could recite daily the Pledge
of Allegiance.  This galvanized the Americans in maintaining their faith in
each other and their country.  When Mike was discovered with his
'contraband', he was taken out of the cell and tortured severely all night
long.  When the beatings were over, it took 2 weeks of nursing back to
health by the other POW's, but the first thing he did was to fabricate
another American Flag"

 

      Some extracts used in this Biography  were  provided thanks to the generosity of Charles and Mary Schantag  who also gave permission to include the  following POWNET biography  link               (please use your browser Back Arrow to return to this page)

LCdr Michael D. Christian