Columbus AFB celebrates Air Force’s 69th birthday

Retired Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris, Vietnam F-105 pilot and former POW, speak to attendees during 69th Air Force Birthday Ball Sept. 17 at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus, Mississippi. On April 4, 1965, while on a combat mission, Harris’ F-105 aircraft was hit and he was forced to bail out over enemy territory. He was captured immediately and spent the next eight years as a POW in various prisons where he was confined, mistreated, and tortured. He is credited with introducing the tap code to POW’s so that they could communicate between cells. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Johnson)

PHOTO BY: Richard Johnson
VIRIN: 160917-F-DK204-102.JPG
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