On 18 July 1965, for Commander Jeremiah Denton, having his A-6 Bomber shot down was just the beginning of a bad day. Denton and his navigator/bombardier, Lt (JG) Bill Tschudy ejected over North Vietnam and were captured.
That was Denton in 1966. Did you notice him blinking his eyes? Neither did his Communist captures. The Office of Naval Intelligence sure caught it. Using morse code, Denton spelled out
This passed on confirmation that American POWs were being tortured by the Vietnamese. With this daring act a defiance, Denton risked being beaten to death.
For this act, he was awarded the Navy Cross.
On February 12, 1973, both Denton and Tschudy were released in Hanoi by the North Vietnamese along with numerous other American POWs during Operation Homecoming.
He finished his service at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and retired from the Navy on November 1, 1977 with the rank of Rear Admiral. He wrote his book in 1976, When Hell was in Session, detailing his detention as an American POW in North Vietnam.
Denton died March 25th at age 89.
Funeral Mass and internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.