Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Collins (left), former Vietnam War POW, and retired Air Force Col. Elmo Baker, former Vietnam War POW, view Collins’ Freedom Flight photo during the 560th Flying Training Squadron Artifact Dedication ceremony and open house March 20 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. The annual event, in conjunction with the 42nd Freedom Flyer Reunion and 18th Annual POW/MIA Symposium, honors all POWs held captive during the Vietnam War. The tradition began when members of the 560th Flying Training Squadron were given the task to retrain more than 150 POWs returning to flying status. Collins aircraft was shot down during a mission over North Vietnam Oct. 18, 1965, and was held captive by the North Vietnamese until his release Feb. 12, 1973. Baker’s aircraft was shot down during a mission over North Vietnam Aug. 23, 1967, and was held captive by the North Vietnamese until his release March 1973. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Johnny Saldivar)
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