The Longest Rescue
The Life and Legacy of Vietnam POW William A. Robinson
Publication Year: 2013
While serving as a crew chief aboard a U.S. Air Force Rescue helicopter, Airman First Class William A. Robinson was shot down and captured in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam, on September 20, 1965. After a brief stint at the "Hanoi Hilton," Robinson endured 2,703 days in multiple North Vietnamese prison camps, including the notorious Briarpatch and various compounds at Cu Loc, known by the inmates as the Zoo. No enlisted man in American military history has been held as a prisoner of war longer than Robinson. For seven and a half years, he faced daily privations and endured the full range of North Vietnam's torture program.
In The Longest Rescue: The Life and Legacy of Vietnam POW William A. Robinson, Glenn Robins tells Robinson's story using an array of sources, including declassified U.S. military documents, translated Vietnamese documents, and interviews from the National Prisoner of War Museum. Unlike many other POW accounts, this comprehensive biography explores Robinson's life before and after his capture, particularly his estranged relationship with his father, enabling a better understanding of the difficult transition POWs face upon returning home and the toll exacted on their families. Robins's powerful narrative not only demonstrates how Robinson and his fellow prisoners embodied the dedication and sacrifice of America's enlisted men but also explores their place in history and memory.
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Download PDF (495.5 KB)
Title Page, Copyright Page
Download PDF (67.0 KB)
Download PDF (31.8 KB)
Download PDF (432.6 KB)
Download PDF (53.2 KB)
This is a very big book about a very big man, with a big mind, and a huge, unshakable stoicism and innate common sense. These were exactly the qualities he called on to resist the brutal and inhumane conditions that he faced as a prisoner of war. as a reader, you will become a better person for having read this spectacular story and ...
Download PDF (65.2 KB)
...“We sometimes fondly say that we classify ourselves as one of the longest rescues in history.” William andrew (bill) Robinson, a bear-like man, grinned and gently shook with laughter as he finished re-counting the outline of his capture story during an interview at the inson was not “rescued” in the literal military sense of the word—...
1, Unfortunate Sons
Download PDF (148.1 KB)
Late in the evening of 4 august 1964, President Lyndon Johnson ap-peared on television to inform the world of u.s. retaliatory strikes against north Vietnam in response to the gulf of Tonkin incidents involving the u.s.s. Maddox and C. Turner Joy. “as i speak to you tonight,” the president announced, “air action is now in execution ...
2. Separate Paths to Hell
Download PDF (206.7 KB)
...after only one night in the first village, Robinson’s north Viet-namese captors moved him to a second location, a village that was a little bit larger than the first. he never developed a clear visual of the place because he arrived after dark, and his handlers kept star attraction in what many prisoners referred to as pep rallies. ...
3. After Ho
Download PDF (144.3 KB)
...vidual symbolized the north Vietnamese war of national liberation, died at the age of seventy-five after battling chronic health problems stemming from tuberculosis and malaria. The international commu-nity paid tribute to the revolutionary leader by sending more than state funeral was held on 8 september at hanoi’s ba dinh square, ...
4. Coming Home
Download PDF (144.5 KB)
The signing of the Paris Peace accords on 27 January 1973 formal-ized and prescribed an exact timeline for the withdrawal of the u.s. military from Vietnam. The agreement also set the conditions for the release of american prisoners of war. on that same January day leased the names of 577 american prisoners of war; of that number ...
5. Forget and Move On
Download PDF (112.3 KB)
...in mid-april 1973 Robinson underwent a series of extensive medical procedures. The first dealt with a foot problem commonly known as joints in the second, third, fourth, or little toe, which causes the foot and toes to resemble a claw or hammer. The patient’s symptoms tions in the affected areas. over the years Robinson’s weight had ...
6. An Iconic Image
Download PDF (109.4 KB)
...in october 1994 bill Robinson unexpectedly received a letter from Le manh Thich, a documentary film director at the central science documentary film studio in hanoi. Thich explained that “ever since the sounds of guns and bombs” had ceased in his country, he, as a filmmaker, had “met many people from both sides who fought in ...
Download PDF (126.4 KB)
...in the mid-1990s Robinson started to receive invitations to speak publicly about his experiences as a prisoner of war, including one from an old friend in central georgia. one day while driving north along interstate 75 from his home in defuniak springs, florida, to of atlanta, Robinson noticed a highway sign for the andersonville ...
Download PDF (30.0 KB)
...i first met bill Robinson at the andersonville national historic site in march 2007. i was there to help with the Luminary event, the placing of 13,000 candles on the old civil War prison grounds to commemorate the death of u.s. soldiers who died in captivity while held at andersonville Prison. Robinson was there as part of ...
Download PDF (957.8 KB)
Prisoners on board the hanoi Taxi. Front to back: Ron byrnes, george hall, neil black, and bill Robinson. (usaf photo, courtesy bill bill deplanes at scott air force base, february 1973. (St. Louis Post-Left to right: gene Robinson, bill, and geneva Robinson at andrews air (Above) Left to right: Jessie Robinson, bill, and Jackie Robertson at ...
Download PDF (103.9 KB)
Download PDF (41.0 KB)
The most authoritative account written on the american prisoner-of-war experience in Vietnam is stuart i. Rochester and frederick Kiley’s Honor Bound: The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961–1973 (1998). most Vietnam-era PoW memoirs were written by americans held in north Vietnam, and one of the ...
Download PDF (52.6 KB)
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2013