08 August 2006
Capt. Murphy Jones- Vietnam
Encouraged by the anti-war movement in the US, Hanoi went to great lengths to present its case through a persistent propaganda campaign aimed at its own people and the world, in this example staging the capture of a downed "pilot." In propaganda films made about the time of the Hanoi March, USAF F-105 pilot Capt. Murphy Jones was paraded first bandaged and dirty, clad in underwear, then (left) aboard a truck, wearing his flight suit. Both films were part of the North Vietnamese effort to establish American pilots as "criminal aggressors" and "air pirates."
Just before dropping his payload, his fighter took a direct hit from an 85-mm anti-aircraft round. Ejecting through his canopy at only 300 feet, his parachute opened an instant before he slammed into the ground, a violent landing that blew out both knees, cracked three vertebrae in his neck, dislocated his left shoulder and broke his left arm. His right leg was full of shrapnel from the anti-aircraft round. Still strapped into his parachute, Jones watched as 30 North Vietnamese soldiers closed in on the crash site. Pulling the .45 automatic he carried as a sidearm, he thought over his situation for half a second, then handed it, butt first, to the first soldier who approached him.
Within hours of his capture, he was beaten, subjected to a mock execution, and paraded through the streets of Hanoi in the back of an army truck. His wounds untreated, he fought to keep himself conscious as angry mobs pelted him with rocks. A Japanese news crew filmed the parade as well as the following news conference, where Jones was paraded before more cameras. In a few days the footage would be broadcast around the world
Posted by Constantine at 8.8.06