Alan P. Lurie
POW 1966 – 1973
Name: Alan Pierce Lurie
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 480th TFS
Date of Birth: March 1933
Home City of Record: Cleveland OH
Date of Loss: 13 June 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 173800 North 1062200 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Darrell Pyle, returnee, deceased
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE – 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
Shot Down: June 13, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio in March of 1933. My parents and younger
brother still reside there. While attending Ohio State University in 1954, I
met and later married Miss Mary Todd. After graduation in June 1955, I was
called to active duty in the USAF. I gained my commission through the ROTC
program at Ohio State. My duty assignments prior to Vietnam were: flight
training at Moore AFB and Goodfellow AFB, Texas; Phillips Army Air Field on
the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland; Patrick AFB, Florida; Sculthorpe,
England; Phalsbourg AB, France; and Holloman AFB, New Mexico. My immediate
family now includes my wife, Mary, two daughters, Kim and Kit, and a son,
On 1 February 1966 my squadron departed the USA for assignment at Danang AB.
I was then the aircraft commander of an F4C Phantom fighter bomber. On June
13, 1966, while on an armed reconnaissance mission in the southern part of
North Vietnam, my aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and became
uncontrollable. I ejected safely from low altitude (about 350 feet at 450
knots), but I sustained a compression fracture of the spine.
The DRV used my Pilot Systems Operator and I as a traveling show until 29
June when we arrived in Hanoi and were thrown into Hoa Lo prison, more
commonly known as the Hanoi Hilton. The DRV didn’t wait until I got to Hanoi
to begin their systematic torture. Despite what Jane Fonda says, it is a
terrible thing to endure even when administered by “gentle people.” I was a
prisoner for 80 months, being released on 12 February 1973. During that
period of time, I was either solo or in very small rooms for extended
periods of time; subjected to torture on several occasions, and under
constant pressure by my captors.
Faith in the Lord, a firm belief in the government and people of the United
States of America, and complete confidence in our military are basically
what kept me going. I never gave up for a minute. I am also confident that I
will never again serve with a finer group of men.
My health is good and I plan to continue my Air Force Career and to fly once
To all of you whose thoughts, hopes, and prayers are with your country, your
President, and your fighting men, God bless you . . . You are the finest
people on the face of the Earth.
Alan Lurie retired from the United States Air Force as a Brig General. He
and his wife Mary reside in Arizona.
Alan Lurie was born in 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at Ohio State University on June 10, 1955, and went on active duty beginning November 15, 1955. Lt Lurie completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, in January 1957, and then served with the 6570th Test Squadron at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, until November 1957. His next assignment was with the 6550th and 6560th Operations Squadron at Patrick AFB, Florida, from November 1957 to May 1961, and then as an alert duty officer and command post controller with the 47th Bomb Wing at RAF Sculthorpe, England, until July 1962.
From July 1962 to February 1966, Capt Lurie served with the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, first at Phalsbourg AB, France, and then at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. He then deployed with the 480th TFS to Danang AB in the Republic of Vietnam, where he flew 75 combat missions before being forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War on June 13, 1966.
After spending 2,436 days in captivity, Col Lurie was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at March AFB, California, and then returned to flying status, serving as Executive Officer and then Commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at George AFB, California, from January 1974 to August 1975. Col Lurie attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1975 to June 1976, and then served on the staff of Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, until August 1978. His next assignment was as deputy commander for operations of the 366th TFW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, from August 1978 to August 1979, and then as commander of the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona, from August 1979 to June 1981. He was commander of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, from June 1981 to June 1982, and then served as deputy chief of staff for operations with 12th Air Force, also at Bergrstrom, from June to November 1982. Gen Lurie next commanded the 836th Air Division at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, from November 1982 to September 1984, followed by service as commander of the 25th Air Division at McChord AFB, Washington, from September 1984 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1987. Gen Lurie wears Command Pilot Wings, the Missile Badge, and German Air Force Command Pilot Wings, and accumulated 5,384 flying hours during his Air Force Career.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. This American resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.