Vietnam War POW Visits USS Preble

Story Number: NNS100304-04Release Date: 3/4/2010 12:05:00 PM
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By Ensign Anna Pursley, USS Preble Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A former prisoner of war (POW) visited the guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) Feb. 26.

Retired Capt. Eugene "Red" McDaniel was held as a POW in Vietnam for six years after his A-6 Intruder aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam on May 19, 1967. McDaniel met with members of the wardroom to discuss his experiences as a prisoner of war and a naval officer.

McDaniel was one of the most brutally tortured prisoners of the Vietnam War due to his active role in camp communications during an organized escape attempt by fellow prisoners. He authored the book "Scars and Stripes," which chronicles his time in the communist prison.

After six years in the prison camp, McDaniel returned to active duty and served as the commanding officer of the combat stores ship USS Niagara Falls and the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.

He was awarded the Navy's highest award for bravery, the Navy Cross, as well as two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars with Combat "V", and two Purple Hearts for wounds received at the hands of the North Vietnamese.

Preble Combat Systems Officer Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Shirley organized McDaniel's visit and said it was an opportunity to "eat lunch with a true war hero."

McDaniel's son Capt. Mike McDaniel accompanied his father and the two were given a tour of the ship.

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