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The Incredibly Stupid One at the Hanoi Hilton
Cherries Writer ^ | March 17, 2014 | Dick "Beak" Stratton

Posted on 04/06/2014 1:17:50 PM PDT by Twotone

It was a warmer than usual summer day in Clark, South Dakota when a rather large and ungainly young man, a recent high school graduate, set about finding his way in the world. The salivating Navy recruiter asked the youngster what it would take to have him sign up: “why, I’d like to go to Australia.” It was as good as done. After all, in 1966, if you were lucky enough to ship out on the USS Canberra, more likely than not, during the course of your hitch, there will be a port call to the ship’s namesake— Canberra, Australia.

(Excerpt) Read more at cherrieswriter.wordpress.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: vietnam
An excellent story!!
1 posted on 04/06/2014 1:17:50 PM PDT by Twotone
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To: Twotone

John McCain?


2 posted on 04/06/2014 1:21:27 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Twotone

Great story. I heard about him in training.

But I don’t understand that if he had a watch at 0100 why did he not get up until 0300?

Speaking of training, I never could get those darn dungarees to work. Hell, I couldn’t even get the legs tied.


3 posted on 04/06/2014 1:29:03 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: Twotone

He is a real hero.


4 posted on 04/06/2014 1:35:35 PM PDT by Yorlik803 ( Church/Caboose in 2016)
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To: Twotone

I did not want the story to end will look for more of it online It is a incredible story


5 posted on 04/06/2014 1:35:56 PM PDT by al baby (Hi MomÂ… I was refereeing to Obama)
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To: Twotone

God Bless Douglas Hegdahl


6 posted on 04/06/2014 1:36:15 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Operating out of weakness? Imagine if he was working from a position of strength!)
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To: VerySadAmerican

“Speaking of training, I never could get those darn dungarees to work. Hell, I couldn’t even get the legs tied.”

I remember jumping off the tower in training and when I hit the water my dungarees were gone! I had to swim to the bottom of the pool to retrieve them so I could make a ‘flotation device’ out of them.


7 posted on 04/06/2014 1:46:46 PM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: FReepers

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8 posted on 04/06/2014 1:50:24 PM PDT by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-free zones are playgrounds for felons.)
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To: dljordan

I think that tower was 40 feet high. I remember thinking “Why haven’t I hit the water yet?” So, I looked down and BAM! Right in the face. Water is hard.

Thank you for your service.


9 posted on 04/06/2014 1:57:01 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: Viennacon

That was my first thought as well.


10 posted on 04/06/2014 2:14:16 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Twotone

One thing. .ive been to Canberra. .its inland and not on the sea..so no port to visit...


11 posted on 04/06/2014 2:21:18 PM PDT by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: Twotone
Thanks Twotone..."Then Doug would back up to a truck, spin the gas cap off the standpipe, stoop down and put a small amount of dirt in the gas tank and replace the cap. I watched him over a period of time do this to five trucks. Now, I’m a liberal arts major who shot himself down, so all I can do is report what I saw. There were five trucks working in the prison; I saw Doug work on five trucks; I saw five trucks towed disabled out of the prison camp. Doug Hegdahl, a high school graduate from the mess decks fell off a ship and has five enemy trucks to his credit. I am a World Famous Golden Dragon (VA 192) with two college degrees, 2000 jet hours, 300 carrier landings and 22 combat missions. How many enemy trucks do I have to my credit? Zero. Zip. Nada. De Rien. 0. Who’s the better man? Douglas Brent Hegdahl, one of two
12 posted on 04/06/2014 2:34:24 PM PDT by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Twotone

He was one of my Instructors at SERE School ... could still recite names and ID numbers of every Prisoner

He stayed after Graduation and would speak with anyone about anything ... last one out of the Classroom.

He was instrumental in the entire SERE School Program.

TT

Back to Lurk


13 posted on 04/06/2014 2:55:17 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (Idiocracy used to just be a Movie... Live every day as your last...one day you will be right)
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To: TexasTransplant

Here’s another story I’ve heard about him..perhaps you can tell me if it’s true: during his “sweeping and skipping” (and truck disabling) excursions around the compound, Hegdahl would occasionally “duck” as if an imaginary bat or bird was swooping down on him, if he saw one of the guards watching.

That bit of behavior helped reinforce the notion (among the North Vietnamese) that Hegdahl was of no value and possibly mentally ill. Most of the guards believed that mental illness was contagious, so they gave him a wide berth. That allowed him to gather more information, which he provided after being released.

Hegdahl is a legend in the SERE community and among those of us who went through the various training programs. It’s a shame that, even today, his story is almost unknown among the ranks of former POWs and those affiliated with SERE training.


14 posted on 04/06/2014 3:34:20 PM PDT by ExNewsExSpook
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To: Twotone

Thanks for posting!


15 posted on 04/06/2014 3:43:41 PM PDT by BwanaNdege
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To: dljordan

Whenever we would have “Abandon Ship Drills”, the 1MC would announce something like, “Nearest friendly land bearing 235, 350 miles”.

Which immediately reminded me of Bill Cosby.

“Ding, Noah! How long can YOU tread water?”

Riiiight.”


16 posted on 04/06/2014 3:47:11 PM PDT by BwanaNdege
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To: TexasTransplant

I saw him at SERE as well. He was not one of my class instructors, but he did recite the names for us. That was in July, 1983


17 posted on 04/06/2014 4:00:25 PM PDT by CPONav
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To: Twotone

I’ve read about this guy.A young sailor,a junior enlisted man,at the Hanoi Hilton with Navy and Air Force officers who had been shot down.He had to be *ordered* to accept early release.Certainly a hero in my book.


18 posted on 04/06/2014 4:44:30 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: Twotone

Capt Stratton lives here at Fleet Landing. I arrived in Dec and have not met him yet. Nice to know he has been writing about his POW years.


19 posted on 04/06/2014 5:34:18 PM PDT by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
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To: Twotone

Thanks for posting. I had never heard this story before.


20 posted on 04/06/2014 5:59:22 PM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: Twotone
Usually they were volunteers, violators of direct orders from their Seniors and traitors to our cause of resistance.

/Has anyone ever found out which "traitors" he was referring to?

21 posted on 04/06/2014 6:03:57 PM PDT by Larry381 (The Media Have Become the Enemy of the American people...Pat Caddell)
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To: Twotone

Will read later....


22 posted on 04/06/2014 8:09:43 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: VerySadAmerican

“I think that tower was 40 feet high. I remember thinking “Why haven’t I hit the water yet?” So, I looked down and BAM! Right in the face. Water is hard.”

I was in navy boot camp in 1968. I too remember jumping off the tower for the swim test but one thing I didn’t know, was how to swim. They told all recruits it does not matter if you can swim are not, you either jump or you are pushed off, the choice is yours. I had to go back one night for swim class and passed the swim test that night. Boy was I ever glad!


23 posted on 04/06/2014 11:37:21 PM PDT by longhorn too
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To: longhorn too

I had to jump off the high tower in aviation training. There was a Gunny Sgt standing there who would push you off if you didn’t go when he said “Go”. Then you had to climb back up and jump again.


24 posted on 04/07/2014 12:15:28 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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