CAPTURED: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam

By Alvin Townley (Scholastic Press, 2019)


American prisoner of war Jeremiah Denton sat in a Hanoi interrogation room, facing a television camera. As he responded to questions from his captors, he slowly yet deliberately blinked his eyes. He blinked in Morse Code and sent America a chilling message about the treatment of U.S. POWs. He blinked out: 'T-O-R-T-U-R-E.'

Future U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton became one of the leading POWs in North Vietnam and, from the North Vietnamese perspective, among the most subversive and uncooperative men in the 'Hanoi Hilton.' His captors exiled him and ten other ringleaders to an isolated prison the POWs named Alcatraz for the loneliness, suffering, and torture they endured there. As Jeremiah Denton and his fellow POWs valiantly waged war from their tomb-like cells, the defiance, resilience, and unity of the "Alcatraz Eleven" became legend.

Denton survived nearly eight years in captivity and led the first POWs into freedom on February 12, 1973. In one of the century's most famous (and most brief) statements, he spoke on behalf of all his men when they returned to American soil: 'We are proud to have served our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander-in-chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.'

CAPTURED tells an astonishing and ultimately inspiring story of perseverance and courage that will resonate with readers across America.

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© 2020 Alvin Townley