RDML Robert Shumaker, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW

Veterans Chronicles

11-03-2020 • 48 mins

In early 1965, U.S. Naval Aviator Robert Shumaker was deployed to Vietnam. He said goodbye to his wife and newborn son, never imagining he wouldn't see them for another eight years.

In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," retired RDML Shumaker shares the gripping details of being shot down and badly injuring his back as he parachuted to the ground. He also describes how he dubbed Hoa Lo Prison the "Hanoi Hilton" and how he and other prisoners developed the tap code that allowed them to communicate right under the noses of their captors.

Shumaker also shares how he survived excruciating torture and more than three years in solitary confinement. And, of course, he tells us what it was like to taste freedom after eight years in captivity.

But there's even more to his story. Shumaker also walks us through the harrowing mission in the Mediterranean that almost took his life years before Vietnam and how he was chosen to be an astronaut before losing that opportunity in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Don't miss the incredible story of RDML Robert Shumaker as visits with Greg Corombos.