Defiant: American POWs in Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison by Alvin Townley | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
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Defiant: American POWs in Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison by Alvin Townley

Alvin Townley

On September 25, Alvin Townley delivered a Banner Lecture entitled “Defiant: American POWs in Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison.”

During the Vietnam War, hundreds of American prisoners of war faced years of brutal conditions and horrific torture at the hands of North Vietnamese guards and interrogators who ruthlessly grilled them for military intelligence and propaganda. Determined to maintain their Code of Conduct, the POWs developed a powerful underground resistance. To quash it, their captors singled out its eleven leaders and banished them to an isolated jail that would become known as Alcatraz. None would leave its solitary cells and interrogation rooms unscathed; one would never return. When the survivors of Alcatraz finally came home, one veteran would go on to receive the Medal of Honor, another would become a U.S. Senator, and a third served in the U.S. Congress.

A powerful story of survival and triumph, Alvin TownleyDefiant will inspire anyone wondering how courage, faith, and brotherhood can endure even in the darkest of situations.

Alvin Townley, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is the author of several books, including Spirit of Adventure: Eagle Scouts and The Making of Americas Future, Fly Navy: Discovering the Extraordinary People and Enduring Spirit of Naval Aviation, and Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnams Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned.



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