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Sat May 6, 2017, 12:54 PM

Leo Thorsness, Decorated Veteran Held Captive With McCain, Dies at 85

Source: New York Times

Leo Thorsness, Decorated Veteran Held Captive With McCain, Dies at 85


Col. Leo K. Thorsness, one of the most highly decorated American airmen of the Vietnam War and a belated recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroism on a mission that took place 11 days before he was shot down and taken prisoner, died on Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla. Colonel Thorsness, who had been brutalized during his six years of captivity at the notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, where he was a cellmate of John McCain’s, was 85.

His wife, Gaylee, said the cause was leukemia. He died at a Mayo Clinic. Colonel and Mrs. Thorsness had been living in St. Augustine, Fla., for the past year and half.

The skies some 40 miles southwest of Hanoi were filled with North Vietnamese MIG fighters, surface to air missiles (known as SAMs) and antiaircraft fire on the afternoon of April 19, 1967, when Major Thorsness — he was promoted to colonel on his retirement — carried out his 88th mission for the Air Force piloting an F-105 Thunderchief.

He and his weapons specialist, Captain Harold Johnson, shot down one MIG, damaged another and struck at least two SAM batteries as they accompanied fighter-bombers attacking a North Vietnamese Army barracks.

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Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/us/obituary-leo-thorsness-dead-vietnam-medal-of-honor.html

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Reply Leo Thorsness, Decorated Veteran Held Captive With McCain, Dies at 85 (Original post)
Eugene May 2017 OP
democrank May 2017 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 01:35 PM

1. Rest in peace, Col. Thorsness.

I can't imagine what he endured.

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