Porter Halyburton, Reflections on Captivity

On October 17, 1965, Navy LTJG Porter Halyburton was shot down over North Vietnam on his 76th mission and listed as killed in action. One-and-a-half years later he was found to be alive and a prisoner of war. Halyburton was held captive for more than seven years. Reflections on Captivity, is a collection of fifty short stories about this young naval officer's experiences as a POW in North Vietnam. 

​This book recounts difficult times but focuses more on the positive aspects  I—the humor, creativity, friendships, courage, and leadership of an amazing group of Americans and how they helped each other survive and even thrive. These vignettes demonstrate how the human mind, body, and spirit can adapt and find meaning in life in the most challenging circumstances. There are powerful lessons learned from this complex experience that continue to guide the author's life to this day. Despite hardship, suffering, and long separation, Halyburton strongly believes one's quality of life is determined more by choices made than by circumstances, and the most liberating choice we can make is to forgive. 

Reflections on Captivity furthers the reader's understanding about the nature of captivity, race relations, human relations, aspects of the air war against North Vietnam, and highlights the importance of leadership, ethics, and devotion to duty in difficult times.
“Reflections on Captivity is Porter Halyburton’s truly inspirational account of his and his fellow prisoners’ triumph over adversity in the infamous Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' and other prisons of North Vietnam. The F-4 Phantom crewman relates how the Americans employed considerable courage, determination, creativity, and humor to survive and indeed counter the brutal treatment of their captors.” —Edward J. Marolda, author of Admirals Under Fire: The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War

“In lyrical poetry and vivid prose, Porter Halyburton has shared his remarkable experience as a prisoner of war. It is a story of friendship, faith, and forgiveness – and a meditation on the human spirit, written by an American hero whose own life has been a model of courage, patriotism, and grace.” —James S. Hirsch, author of Two Souls Indivisible: The Friendship That Saved Two POWs in Vietnam
Porter Halyburton survived captivity as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 1965 until 1973. Those seven and half years were not wasted. Halyburton shares the valuable lessons he learned in the Hanoi Hilton and 8 other POW camps, along with many unknown stories in Reflections on Captivity. These include:  the significance of choices made under difficult circumstances, the importance of communication in forming a unified and well-functioning community, and the freedom of forgiveness. His many awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, and seven Air Medals.

Porter Halyburton is from Davidson, NC, a graduate of Davidson College (BA), University of Georgia (MA), and the Naval War College. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Greensboro College.  Retired as Commander, U.S. Navy in 1984 and as Professor of Strategy Emeritus from the Naval War College in Newport, RI, in 2006, he currently resides with his wife Marty in Greensboro, NC.  They have three grown children.


Reflections on Captivity: A Tapestry of Stories by a Vietnam War POW By Porter A. Halyburton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682478257
Availability: Available - We'll have it for you ASAP!
Published: US Naval Institute Press - November 15th, 2022

Event date: 
Sunday, March 19, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Event address: 
304 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401