Prisoners of War Exhibit (Hangar Bay One)
Arrayed around the re-creation of a squalid cell in the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, the Vietnam POW exhibit traces the experience of those in captivity from shoot down to homecoming. The American POW experience in Southeast Asia lasted until 1973, when 591 individuals returned home as part of Operation Homecoming. Using photographs and rare artifacts, this exhibit tells the story of that harrowing time, portraying both the hardships of captivity and the joyous return home. Its centerpiece is a re-creation of a cell in the infamous Hoa Lo prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by those held captive there. Flanking the cell is a vivid collection of personal items, including the shell of the flight helmet U.S. Senator John S. McCain, III, wore when he was shot down in 1967, the pajama type uniforms worn by POWs while in captivity, and a book containing sketches of houses that Lieutenant Junior Grade Dan Glenn, an architecture major in college, drew to pass the time in the latter stages of captivity.