Honoring Operation Homecoming
In April 1973, the last Prisoners of War (POW) were finally released from captivity and flown home. This will become known as Operation Homecoming. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Operation Homecoming the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation is creating an exhibit to honor the servicemen who fought in Vietnam. Our exhibit will tell the stories of men like Commander Everett Alvarez Jr., who was the first pilot shot down and captured -where he remained in captivity for over 8 years. We will tell the story of Vice Admiral James Stockdale, who was held for seven years, and was the most senior naval officer ever held in captivity. These two patriots made it home during Operation Homecoming. Unfortunately, Dan Bullock, Marine 1st class died in Vietnam at the age of 15. Navy Petty Officer First Class Kenna Taylor was given the recognition of being the oldest service member to die in Vietnam along with over 58,000 others who lost their lives over there. The stories of these brave men represent courage and valor against the stark backdrop of the Vietnam war. Yet as we tell the story of the lives and actions of these men, there are more than 1,600 service members still classified as missing in action in Vietnam.