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Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Gene” Smith, former 50th Flying Training Squadron Commander, holds a prisoner of war bracelet Oct. 17, 2017. The date Smith was shot down, Oct. 25, 1967, is inscribed on the bracelet, along with his rank and name. The bracelets help keep the memory of POWs and those missing in action. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Beaux Hebert) POW recalls mission that led to capture 50 years ago
On Oct. 25, 1967, now retired Lt. Col. Richard “Gene” Smith and his wingmen had orders to bomb the Paul Doumer Bridge in North Vietnam; the bridge was a mile long and one of the most heavily defended positions in Southeast Asia.
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