Tarlton Jenkins Jr.
was C.O. of VA-163 flying the A4E when shot down
13 November 1965 near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. During my stay in North
Vietnam, I spent four years in solitary confinement.
During this time I did much reflection on my life and
my faith. While I hope never to repeat the experience, I feel I gained a
certain insight into things I might never have obtained otherwise. Since
I've returned I've been asked many times "was the war right, was it
worthwhile?" There is no doubt in my mind we were right in fighting. I
don't think we had to fight to preserve America but it was necessary in
preserve American honor.
A free people were threatened with the yoke of Communism being imposed
by force, I fought to prevent that and I feel that fight was successful.
Our belief in freedom of choice for all required that we help the South
Vietnamese or any other nation that needs our help.
We owe our independence to foreign help, mainly French, and our honor
dictates that we stand ready to offer help to others when they need it
to remain free.
Many men invested their whole lifetime to this cause. I invested only
seven years. Though I hope never to have to, I'm ready to invest more if
it is required.
I wish everyone could understand the gratitude I feel for their thoughts
and prayers during those long years and I'd like to ask everyone to
continue their prayers until all those not yet home have been properly
Captain Harry Jenkins died in the crash of a homemade aircraft 2 Aug
Cdr. Harry T. Jenkins Jr. USN