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United States Navy VFA-163

A-4E Skyhawk

 BuNo.151067
AH 340

13th November 1965

Oriskany (CV-34)

 

Cdr. Harry Tarlton Jenkins Jr.

     I 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 order to
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 accounted for.


Captain Harry Jenkins died in the crash of a homemade aircraft 2 Aug 1995.
 

 

Cdr. Harry T. Jenkins Jr. USN

      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)

Captain Harry Jenkins Jr.