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R.I.P. Vice Admiral Stockdale.


James Stockdale, Medal of Honor winner and 1992 running mate of Ross Perot, has passed away at the age of 81:

During the Vietnam War, he was a Navy fighter pilot based on the USS Oriskany and flew 201 missions before he was shot down on Sept. 9, 1965. He became the highest-ranking naval officer captured during the war, the Navy said.

He endured more than 7 1/2 years as a prisoner, spending four of them in solitary confinement, before his release in 1973. He was tortured repeatedly, according to the Navy.

Stockdale received 26 combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest medal for valor, in 1976. A portion of his award citation reads: "Stockdale ... deliberately inflicted a near mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated their employment of excessive harassment and torture of all prisoners of war."

A true American hero.

Powerline blog has more.

Will Franklin blogs at WILLisms.com.

The full Medal of Honor Citation:


Rank and organization: Rear Admiral (then Captain), U.S. Navy. Place and date: Hoa Lo prison, Hanoi, North Vietnam, 4 September 1969. Entered service at: Abingdon, Ill. Born: 23 December 1923, Abingdon, Ill.. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam. Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Rear Adm. Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt. Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, Rear Adm. Stockdale resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice. He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War. By his heroic action, at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country. Rear Adm. Stockdale's valiant leadership and extraordinary courage in a hostile environment sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference R.I.P. Vice Admiral Stockdale.:

» Caerdroia linked with Rest In Peace Admiral Stockdale

» Outside The Beltway linked with Admiral James Stockdale, American Hero, Dies

» Conservative Thinking linked with Round the Reader: Wednesday, 6 July 2005

» Danny Carlton (aka Jack Lewis) linked with Retired Vice Admiral Jim Stockdale dead at age 81

» hubs and spokes linked with James Stockdale, 1923-2005

» General Quarters linked with RIP Admiral Stockdale

» Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense linked with Taps for a Real Hero - Let us never forget!

» Joust The Facts linked with R.I.P. Admiral Stockdale

Comments (17)

And what did Perot do to ho... (Below threshold)

And what did Perot do to honor such a man?

Perot chose him as Vice Presidential candidate for one reason only: as a pawn to obliterate the stark difference in war records between Bush and Clinton as a campaign issue.

Oh... That is sad. He was t... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Oh... That is sad. He was the one who gave the speech "Who AM I, and What Am I Doing Here?"... I liked him! God bless him!

He truly was a great man an... (Below threshold)
Ben Bauman:

He truly was a great man and warrior. God Bless him and his family.

VFW Post 9949

Too bad he came off, in the... (Below threshold)

Too bad he came off, in the debate, as a mildly befuddled old gentleman who was clearly out of his element. I felt kind of sorry for him. Now I am happy to read about how great a man he really was. Obviously, he was not a man to talk about his war experiences, unlike a recent braggart presidential candidate who thankfully lost. God bless Mr. Stockdale and his service to America and may his reward in heaven be great.

Oh please Ken. Perot picke... (Below threshold)

Oh please Ken. Perot picked him because Perot has good judgement, as reflected in his long and distinguished business career. Stockdale didn't get a damn vote for Perot, in fact he lost votes for Perot. Perot picked him because he thought this hero was right for the position. Similar to Bush's pick of Cheney, by the way.

From what I've read, not to... (Below threshold)

From what I've read, not too many people who've been veep would think being considered "right for the job" is any kind of compliment.

Cheney's an exception, I'm sure -- but his job doesn't consist merely of inquiring each morning about the President's health and then going out to play golf.

got something against golf?... (Below threshold)

got something against golf?

I would like to have seen S... (Below threshold)

I would like to have seen Senator Durbin sit across the table from Admiral Stockdale, look him in the eye and read his statement about prisoner abuse.

McCain, come out of your dr... (Below threshold)

McCain, come out of your dream world.

I had a vigorous argument with a Perot supporter (my mom), claiming Perot was just a con man out to get Bush defeated. I even rashly predicted that he would drop out of the race when he thought Clinton had a good enough lead in the polls.

(heh, heh) The next day my mom sheepishly held up a newspaper announcing that Perot had withdrawn. If you were paying attention, you'll remember the polls at that time were about 34 to 32 to 30. Certainly an appropriate time for a real candidate to withdraw?

We resumed our argument, me claiming that if Perot got back into the race it would show what a con man he was. My mom claiming, no it wouldn't show that he is a con man. She had to admit that she thought he would be back.

I haven't won an argument w... (Below threshold)

I haven't won an argument with my mommy for years. She too voted for Perot. Perot ran a terrible campaing, duh. Stockdale was a hero. Perot was a hero. Not sure what we are arguing about, actually.

McCain:Admiral Sto... (Below threshold)


Admiral Stockdale was a hero. H. Ross Perot was, IMHO, a self-aggrandizing twit (though I must give him credit for that rescue mission in Iran that he organized).

BTW, the only activity I've ever come across that was less fun than golf was watching my toe-nails grow. And it was close. :)

Not only the rescue mission... (Below threshold)

Not only the rescue mission. Much more importantly, he was the only voice for a long long time pressing for the return of Vietnam MIAs. He privately airlifted supplies to POWs. He hired nobody but vets at a time when those nice liberals were spitting in their faces. He paid for prosthetic limbs and other assorted healthcare needs of our vets, lots of it. He is a hero to Vietnam veterans and their familiies, no question about it. And he doesn't talk about it.

And yes, he had the conceited audacity to actually run against a Republican in 1992. What a self-aggrandizing patriotic hero. What are we to do with him? I don't even think the buggar can golf. :)

Gosh, McCain just ran away ... (Below threshold)

Gosh, McCain just ran away and hid. How do I deal with that?

The point is, Perot was never a legitimate candidate. He was always working as a spoiler to cause Bush to lose. That's why his statements during the campaign were inconsistent and incoherent. He just kept changing his positions to match whatever he thought would most help Clinton.

That kind of behavior just tells me he is a deceitful con man. If he had any integrity, he would have just come out and told everyone why he thought Clinton should have been elected instead of Bush. Apparently he didn't think that would be so effective.

Oh gee, perhaps Bush himsel... (Below threshold)

Oh gee, perhaps Bush himself ran as a spoiler to cause Bush to lose. That's why his statements about no new taxes before the campaign were inconsistent and incoherant. Bush just kept changing his position to match whatever he thought would most help Clinton. If Bush had only quit the campaign gracefully, Perot would have won. Mysterious and dark motives are so fun to hallucinate about.

Oh the audacity of a 3rd party candidate to actually run for office. How dare he. The vengeful act MUST be about helping or hurting one of the major party candidates, since we are incapable of understanding equations containing more than 2 party variables.

McCain, you are a parody of... (Below threshold)

McCain, you are a parody of yourself.

Yes, of course, the Republicans were so confused by the calculus of three candidates that they caused Perot to make delusional claims that the Republicans were going to sabotage his daughter's wedding.

Does anyone know have or kn... (Below threshold)
J Forrest:

Does anyone know have or know where I can get a video clip of the famous 1992 debate - "Who am I?", "Why am I here?"

I'm at [email protected]


I would also appreciate it ... (Below threshold)

I would also appreciate it if anyone knows where I can download a video clip of Admiral Stockdale's famous debate. My e-mail address is: [email protected]






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