Russell E. Temperley
|SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
RUSSELL E. TEMPERLEY
Flying a single engine, single seater jet airplane from Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Korat, Thailand, Major Temperley took off as a spare aircraft for the strike force. When a plane had to abort due to mechanical problems, he became an integral part of the armada that was to hit the North Vietnamese Army headquarters in Hanoi.
A surface to air missile hit his plane and brought him to a soft landing in a tree. The branches caused a few scratches, but he had no time to think of them for within minutes the villagers captured him and he was soon on his way to the "New Guy Village" (Heartbreak Hotel) area of the Hanoi Hilton. "Little did I know that I was now to have 1966 days of paid vacation with room and board in North Vietnam.
That evening I was introduced to the North Vietnamese "Human Policy". (I think the
word is humane, but they called it human). I was told to "talk" and answer all their
questions or I would be punished. At first I was slapped about the face, later punched
To give you an idea of the cell where we spent so much miserable time, you must imagine a bed one meter wide, fastened to the wall. It was made out of two inch hardwood planks. Some were longer as they had built stocks for the legs, or arms and neck. The floor was concrete. There was an inspection hole in the door, every ten or fifteen minutes a guard would open it and look in. We were required to stand up, face the guard and give a low bow. This would sometimes go on night and day as a harassment.
We washed outside summer and winter. We had ten minutes to wash us, our clothes
and our teeth. Should one be caught with soap all over oneself, and the air raid take place,
At present I feel no animosity toward the North Vietnamese. I do, in fact, feel sorry for the majority of them, especially the peasants. I feel that these peasants are fed so many lies and distorted facts that they do not know what the war is about, or why there is fighting in the first place. If they do not work, or fill their quota, they are punished. They are sometimes thrown into prison. They work in a dictatorial environment at all times; even at home in their villages, under the cadre as well as in the army.
Fourteen March 1973 was my day of departure. Through the waiting line I went. Through the reception line and onto the airplane I went. And when the plane landed, the crowd had American flags. The people looked like Americans. All the yelling was in English. This was not just another dream. My long paid vacation with board and room at the Hanoi Hilton was over. I was free!"