Vice Adm. James Stockdale was leading his carrier group back to the USS Oriskany after a bombing run over North Vietnam. He was downed by anti-aircraft fire, broke his back and dislocated his knee, and was sent to the infamous prison camp known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” There, as the senior officer he took over efforts to build morale and resist Vietnam efforts to create propaganda.
Stockdale retired to Coronado, California, as he slowly succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. He died from the illness on July 5, 2005. Stockdale's funeral service was held at the Naval Academy Chapel and he was buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.
"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." Admiral James Stockdale. He was a TRULY brave man! Stockdale was held as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo prison for the seven and one-half years.