GLENN, DANNY ELLOY

Name: Danny Elloy Glenn
Branch/Rank: UNITED STATES NAVY/O2
Unit:
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record:  MUSKOGEE OK
Date of Loss: 21-December-66
Country of Loss: NORTH VIETNAM
Loss Coordinates: 180900 North  1060900 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 0554

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.  2017 - College of the Ozarks trip to Vietnam.

REMARKS: 03/04/73 RELEASED BY DRV

HA TINH 20 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HA TINH

ALIVE IN 96  RET COMMANDER/RESIDES OKLAHOMA/WIFE SHERRY
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https://cofovietnam2017.wordpress.com/   (more stories from the students and veterans that returned to Vietnam on the College of the Ozarks trip.)

“FINALLY FREE”

We began today with a presentation by my veteran, Dan Glenn, who was a POW for six and a half years in the North Vietnamese prison camp system. During his talk, Dan was open and honest about his captivity. We then toured the Hoa Lo Prison, otherwise infamously known as “The Hanoi Hilton,” where Dan spent more than half of his time as a POW.

Dan was commissioned as a Naval Ensign from the University of Oklahoma’s ROTC program. He left for his first tour in Vietnam aboard the USS Ticonderoga in March, 1965. Dan piloted the A-4 “Skyhawk” plane on 122 missions, bombing targets in both North and South Vietnam.  Dan was assigned to the the USS Kitty Hawk for his fateful second tour.

On December 21, 1966, Dan was shot down and forced to eject over a rice field just north of the DMZ along the coast. As soon as his parachute touched the ground, North Vietnamese from a nearby village surrounded him, stripped him, and marched him to their village. Dan’s first night in captivity was spent strapped to a metal bed frame in a small thatched hut. Villagers paraded past, peering at the American POW. The next day, Dan and an entourage of North Vietnamese military began their slow trek north to Hanoi. They travelled at night, with Dan constantly blindfolded and handcuffed.

After an exhausting six day journey, the group reached Hanoi, and Dan began his imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton.  Although today the Vietnamese claim they treated American POWs well, conditions in the prison were far from perfect. For the first three months of his captivity, Dan was “solo,” that is, he had no roommate. At any time, guards would take him out for what the POWs called a “quiz,” or an interrogation and torture session. During these “quizzes,” the interrogators wanted to know everything, and they did whatever they could to break the POWs, trying to elicit “confessions” from them.  The torture Dan and other POWs experienced by their hands was absolutely horrific and inhumane.

When Dan and the other POWs weren’t in these “quizzes,” they tried to keep their minds focused on something other than their situation. They devised a tap code by which they communicated to each other through the Hilton’s thick walls. The code consisted of different taps, pauses, and thumps to communicate letters, words, and to warn if a guard was nearby. On Dan’s first day in the interrogation room, he began to learn the code.

After three months of being alone in a cell, Dan received his first roommate, Jim Stockdale, the senior Naval POW officer. Over the next six years, Dan was moved not only from cell to cell within the Hilton, changing roommates, but also from camp to camp. In fact, Dan spent time at the “Zoo,” Son Tay, Camp Faith, and the “Dog Patch.”

During Dan’s last three years of imprisonment, conditions began to improve slightly due to the dedicated and persistent actions of POW wives on the home front, who kept their husband’s plight in the news. Dan was finally able to send and receive an occasional six-line letter to his wife and parents.

Dan was in a group of POWs that had just been moved from the Hanoi Hilton prior to the 1970 Son Tay raid.  In his presentation today, Dan, with tears in his eyes, said that the men who volunteered for this mission, knowing the staggering odds of successfully completing it, were the POWs “true heroes.” Although the raid was ultimately unsuccessful in its mission to free the Americans, Dan said that morale was raised because the POWs knew that they were not forgotten, and that the US was going to do whatever it took to bring them home.

On March 4th, 1973, Dan was finally released after six and a half years in captivity. He and other POWs travelled south to Hanoi from the “Dog Patch,” a camp just south of the Chinese border. They were then flown to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Once Dan arrived, he eagerly called his wife, only to hear that she was planning on divorcing him once he returned home, which she did. After a brief hospital stay at Clark, Dan was flown home to Jacksonville, Florida, ready to began the rest of his new life.

When I asked Dan if any good had come from his time as a POW, he promptly replied, “Most everything.” Dan said that if he hadn’t been shot down, he wouldn’t be married to his wonderful wife, and he wouldn’t have the children and grandchildren he dearly loves.

Prior to this trip, Dan had travelled back to Vietnam three times, so he had already faced the ghosts of his past. Today, as I followed Dan through the narrow hallways of the Hanoi Hilton, he remained remarkably composed. When we visited the exact location of Dan’s first cell, I had chills, thinking about the horrible, indescribable pain he suffered there, and yet Dan remained calm and relaxed.  He is truly the strongest man I know, and I am infinitely privileged to have been his student these past two weeks.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to accompany Dan Glenn on this amazing odyssey. We have formed a bond that will not be easily broken.  He has taught me countless life lessons, the most important of which is to always make the best of any situation I am in. Dan certainly did.

Hannah Gray

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MORE INFO:  http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1361